from Antediluvian Sonnets

The words appeared in one book after
Another twice at road and gate for pain
I read your words to make mine approachable
The ones that won't appear or come out
Tinted wrong as if we spoke roses and scars
When in fact the subtle difference between one language
Illusion and another isn't the way you wash
Books or step on lights not even the auditory
Sequence which moves like air from room to room
And keeps mind bright not a new tense or
Pre angular suffix not water but possibly
Akin to what one set of eyes offers another
Empty space where once we thought of ourselves as
Bone and ligature assemblages and necessity of touch

Laynie Browne is the author of seventeen collections of poems, three novels, and a book of short fiction. Her recent books of poetry include: Intaglio Daughters (Ornithopter 2023), Practice Has No Sequel (Pamenar 2023), Letters Inscribed in Snow (Tinderbox 2023), and Translation of the Lilies Back into Lists (Wave Books, 2022). Her work has appeared in journals such as Conjunctions, A Public Space, New American Writing, The Brooklyn Rail, and in anthologies including: The Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity University Press), The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality Street, UK), and Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (W.W. Norton). Her writing has been translated into French, Spanish, Chinese and Catalan. She co-edited the anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women (Les Figues Press) and edited the anthology A Forest on Many Stems: Essays on The Poet’s Novel (Nightboat). Honors include a Pew Fellowship, the National Poetry Series Award for her collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award for her collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. She teaches Creative Writing, and coordinates the MOOC Modern Poetry at the University of Pennsylvania.