CHLOE CLARK

 
 

Geologic Maps of Places I Belong To

 

The director of the exhibit

tells us

 

don’t think

about what we’re seeing

 

don’t see it as forests or mountains

or rivers or vast deserts filled

with nothing but sand

 

teach yourself to stop

 

seeing what you know is supposed

to be in front of you

 

try to find the patterns

the way the shape

of an ocean is like a tiger’s

mouth opening up

 

to swallow you whole

or how a hill can be the belly

of your mother

when she held you still inside

 

I want to try

to do

what she tells me

 

I try to look and see

what isn’t really there

 

Try to erase the trees

erase the edges of land

erase the lake I swallowed

too much water in and so

was almost erased myself

 

Try to let my eyes lose focus

see around these edges

 

I find that these two

spots of deep and dark

are your eyes

like pools

 

I am willing to fall

into and swallow

too much o

 

You’d Be Home Now
 

 

They’re putting a mobile network on the moon

and I joke “I want to sext it”

but it’s not such a joke really

how I would like to seduce

the infinite, use my tongue

to collapse galaxies in on themselves

over and over, let the stars find new

ways to make my body ache

in such relief

There has always been something

between lost

and saved about the way I feel

thinking about space

I wanted to tell you that once

but didn’t know how to explain

There is a rush

in distance

in the long pull between

bodies who have found

one another but haven’t yet

touched

The ecliptic orbit

of planets, the spin

away from and towards

is a slow building

catastrophe to a crashing

release

There has always been something

between distance

and belonging about the way I feel

thinking about space

and I wonder if you’ve ever

felt that too

There is a danger in this,

the inevitability of destruction

but I would let my body be

undone by the weight

of galaxies, the way

that space would unfold

around me, I would

say the names of a thousand

stars, finding

every point of pleasure

on this celestial map

until we got lost into

one another

There has always been something

between finding

and wanting about the way I feel

thinking about space

the closest I get to knowing

what it might be

is when I think

about you

 

Questions for Science


How many miles do you have to walk to burn off those Oreos? No, like the Double Stuf ones with so much filling that it sticks to the roof of your mouth? So, you’re drinking milk too. It’s whole milk. Does that matter?

 

Who invented the concept of time? Should we take this question to a philosopher? Or is the science     the one with dominion here? Why do we measure time instead of embrace it? Why

is time so different in dreams? Why is it so different when we can’t remember something?

Why can’t we remember the childhoods of people we love?

 

        What is the sound of one hand clapping? Jk jk. Why can we trick muscles? Why

        can we make our arms float after they’ve ached? Why can we teach phantom limbs

        to forget to haunt us?

        

            Where is the best place to go if you want to see the most kinds of frogs? What if     

            you just want to hear them singing? Hear that chorus of chirps and whirs and

            berrups? Has anyone ever set an opera to the sound of spring peepers?

        

                When should we begin to prepare ourselves for the apocalypse? Are

                there ways to survive it? Or should we be asking: would we want to

                survive it? We never ask the right questions do we?

                    

                    Why do you think we need to know so much? Are we drowning

                    ourselves in answers? Or do we not ask enough? Is this

                    something we should question about ourselves?

                    

                        Why or why not?

 


 

 
 

Chloe N. Clark's poems and fiction appear in Booth, Glass, Hobart, Little Fiction, Uncanny, and more. She is co-EIC of Cotton Xenomorph, writes for Nerds of a Feather, and teaches at Iowa State University. Her debut chapbook, The Science of Unvanishing Objects, is out from Finishing Line Press and she can be found on Twitter @PintsNCupcakes