[I reached an arm]

from Public Abstract

I reached an arm
Across Louise
And doing so I made

A shape it gave
Me pause a wending
Shape an absent

Mind she said
Goes limb to limb
With the sublime

Our dialogue
Was saucerless
And glassy overgrown

With cultures
Like the sunless pool
Of water ponding

Our garden chairs
A multiplying

Trawl of stillnesses
And gold with fish

She said and this
Is where I stayed
My listening

To scratch an itch
Of shame
A goldfish pond

Is mostly water
Little gold in it at all
Despite its name

Jane Huffman's poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere, and she was a 2019 recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Jane is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and is Editor-in-Chief of Guesthouse, an online literary journal. Twitter @janechuffman