A MULTIVALENT ANTISERUM, by ALICIA HOFFMAN
Times when breaking cloud-dawn
inoculated a nation from sideways,
unsettled as light at night urging us
to question, is gone. Now, the uncured
world turns on itself like a child lost
in its own thumb. It must be dissipating,
the oxygen. Once so comfortably
heliocentric, we have found ourselves
marooned, canvassing our pockmarked
maps. True north stares as only the trapped
can stare, feral and wild in the mountains.
Lost in the plains and the valleys as days
stretch to land at our feet. To say we are sick
is to confess the need for healing. What
we need is mining. Mending. Contrapuntal
conversation over this plateau rising.
It used to be that long division escaped us.
Now, away from the rulebooks, the compasses
careful circumference, we are left divining rods,
the vast stretching of a future. Testing all surfaces,
we attempt discovery, some anesthetic meridian,
primordial number. A vaccination, maybe, dram
of panacea for whatever this is: this lurch
and jolt. Half seismic. Half diminishment.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, New York. The author of two collections, Like Stardust in the Peatmoss and Railroad Phoenix, her poems have been published in a variety of journals, including Radar Poetry, The Penn Review, Typishly, Glass: A Poetry Journal, The Shore, SOFTBLOW, and elsewhere. Find out more at: www.aliciamariehoffman.com.