Lisa Russ Spaar

Whelk

 

Windowsill cornucopia that sundown reddens
with salt-glazed resins, fallow volution,

petrified morning glory, souvenir ocean relic
intricate as the alleyways of the inner ear:

is it the long-gone inside that flees, refracted,
pining for its rented house, indifferent artifact?

The spiraling room our bodies make, numinous,
when we—what will become of that? When one of us—?

I bring this bony shell-piece to my lips
to worship every second we have left,

facing down every lonesome mirror
in which we’ll never see ourselves again.

Lisa Russ Spaar’s fifth full-length collection of poems, Orexia, will appear from Persea in 2017, and her most recent edited anthology is Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson. She teaches at the University of Virginia.