Betsy Wheeler

What’s Been Said About Wormholes

I woke up speaking,
asking the genius saints of my sleep
to bring me a traveling companion
with loaded eyes. This sounds like
a joke. But believing it is funnier,
& yesterday was better. Let’s go there.
What’s already happened—
your midnight dancing,
sore elbows, the wind
whipping her long hair
like cattails – all become
the breadcrumbs for
the long trip back.
Something this good &
beyond the realm of possibility
should be called gleaming.
When we step out onto the
dark road, its tubular wake,
onlookers will call the noise
we make static; I will call it
loud dreaming in a quiet room.

Non-Sonnet for a Night Sail

Only in the fourteenth quadrant
of a kaleidoscope belonging to the Sea
Captain’s rabbit, may the vanquished places
of our wanting float without shyness.

Around the Sea Captain’s heart flows
a moat that’s built for gazing. Come gazing.
Come graze on the memories of strangers,
or gaze at burly knuckles while you feel

your places in need of kneading. Desperate
sailors on the brink of marrying brine will
dance boleros, name names, risk eyeteeth,
do anything to preserve the memory of solid ground.

Or nothing. Everything is what we want.
And so Mars becomes an issue. I’m gazing
at it now: counting its earnest pockets,
bearing its brutal red.


Hopped-up sax, slowly turning
fan blades, constellations stamped
on the wide belts of the young—
teach me the methods of cool.
I said capital “C”. Because my
heart is too racing. Practically
winning, but not sure of where
it’s going. Hands shaking.
Carol says Right on! &
I take that to mean keeping.
On. Writing. When she speaks,
there’s a wreath of lovely
about her. It’s that I mean
doing. All the husbands’ wrists tap-
tapping. And in the streets
not bopping but swinging &
the lampposts, the trees, always ending.


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