Let X be the moon like a notary.
Let Y be all the things left unsaid.
Let the constant be the gold earth
waiting to envelop what remains,
the sieves of the lungs like two cones.

—from Quan Barry's "If dy/dx+4x^2=2x^2-12/2x^2-9, then"

So what
we are likened to
a door nail.

So what
lead once kept us
alive.

So what
we keep growing skin
while new taste buds block our whistles,

that the world leaves
its handprint on our faces:
its fingerprints, our red hot wrinkles.

What should we do
when our legs
grow tired,

but the tide still pulls
us, holding hands
with the moon

in a tug of war
between sky and land?
If only we weren’t

the rope, we
could just
let go.

Copyright © 2006, Sommer Sterud

Image Credit: Copyright © 2006, Mike Gieson

Born in Dean Martin’s hometown of Steubenville, Sommer Sterud lives in Columbus, Ohio, where she is an editor for The Ohio State University, adjunct instructor at Capital University, and a regular contributor to COLORRIOT. She received her MFA from OSU in 2004, and her poems have appeared in Cranky, Harpur Palate, Clare, and Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k) among other print and online journals.