May/June 2014: POETRY
by Rose Postma
The Apostle Peter Contemplates Logical Fallacies
Somewhere in Northwest Iowa, a Silver Laced
Wyandotte grips the gray-cracked wood
of a fence post with his claws. He puffs
his feathers in the black-cold, shakes his matched
set of comb and wattles once, draws in
breath to expel through the syrinx,
and crows. The sun rises. Post hoc
ergo propter hoc: the sun is not controlled
by the cock, but it could be—the way a question
has more than one answer, but the one predicted
is the one given. Denial floats in the morning
like grit on the wind around a fire. Regret
like the quince that blooms before the final snow.
The Apostle John Contemplates the Origins of Metaphor
Eagle of Patmos. Seer in Exile. The one
whom Jesus loved. From the Cave
of the Apocalypse it's hard to conceive
return. Difficult to imagine a scroll
bringing greetings to the seven churches
in Asia Minor. Impossible to explain
the vision that appears behind closed lids.
The way a miner in the Empire Mine
below Grass Valley couldn't remember
the taste of cantaloupe, the way it tastes
the most like nothing nearest the rind.
The way quiet is impossible with eighty
stamping mills pulsing quartz webbed
with gold to a fine grit. The way turning
the presses off on Christmas Day
awakes the residents and makes them
unable to sleep in the deafening silence.
When washed over a copper table,
coated in quicksilver, the gold in the ore
will always cling to the mercury. Heat
the amalgam and birth the gold. Prop
the door of heaven open with a jasper doorstop,
witness the new, the extended, the absolute.
Rejoice with the saints, myriad in number.
Rose Postma teaches English at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa. Her poetry has appeared in plainsongs, the atlanta review, tar river poetry and the mayo review.