A Poem by Paula Cisewski

Paula Cisewski

Paula Cisewski

Paula Cisewski's fourth poetry collection, ​Quitter, won the Diode Editions Book Prize. She is also the author of The Threatened Everything, Ghost Fargo (Nightboat Poetry Prize winner, selected by Franz Wright), Upon Arrival, and several chapbooks, including the lyric prose Misplaced Sinister. She lives in Minneapolis where she teaches, collaborates with fellow artists and activists, and serves on the editorial staff of Conduit Magazine, Books, and Ephemera.

Notes toward Eternity

I leave the clever parties in a flurry to a home darkened where
I can think and be nobody standing at the foot of my shadow.

Shadows, plural: there may be more than one light
source in me casting. God I hope so all of a sudden!

I don’t recall being asked to freeze or to furnish a waiting room—
a private lightbox with a lock—while the potential tarantella

in my body bruised up the bare walls. I don’t recall where I first
encountered the message that now doesn’t belong to me, I only

recall knowing to avoid injury moving through time by never
grasping rails as I plummet home in love with the porch lights on:

luminous lumineers outside. What fuel. There’s room for more
than one life in my life if I love more sources than borders.

“Any awareness is an increment to consciousness, an added
light,” says Bachelard in The Poetics of Reverie. Now is still

not waiting for me. Light-headed threshold dweller, I center
and breathe. At the top cross of each breath, a fading homily.