Sidereal Message

Christine Gosnay

Every mass in the universe is pulling onevery other mass in the universe.Solar buds are fruiting on Orion's sword,grim and otherwise Orion, who leans his face on the ox.That my desire goes out to you and does not return isevidence I travel through a regionwith central boundaries that are not defined.If there is anything original among this, it is the questions.Could I have behaved differently?Disciplined myself at the border of touch and touched?Something pulls back at me, and I feel I cannot change.There is no curve, and no horizon, on the past,only last sightings that come from another well,demanding: Do you remember, ox-eyed lover, turningyour face away from the light?All heat is movement in disbelief.I raise the lace from my skin.In some past you lifted it differently,with a purpose other than mine.

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Christine Gosnay’s first book, Even Years (Kent State University Press, 2017), won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and her chapbook The Wanderer is the 2019 title in Beloit Poetry Journal’s Chad Walsh Chapbook Series. Her poems have appeared recently in Poetry, Image Journal, Ecotone, Bennington Review, The Poetry Review, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, and Four Way Review, and have been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. She lives in California.

"In The Wanderer, Christine Gosnay writes, 'The beginning of the marriage? Oh yes. / A bitter cold day, in a public park. No swans. / I was the only woman there.' The first time I read those lines, I recognized the voice of the wanderer as the voice of our collective, internal exile from America. I was shocked by the strength of that recognition. I hadn’t known, before I read these poems, that I had no words to speak my exile. Gosnay gave me words."
—Shane McCrae

"One of the greater pleasures in poetry is feeling the presence of desire in a calm statement. I feel this pleasure over and over reading Christine Gosnay’s The Wanderer, in which mysterious forces are moving outdoors, the darkness breathes like an empty cathedral, and 'There isn’t a way to stop a wave / without making another / wave.'"
—Jordan Davis

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