Barbara Siegel Carlson

window blinds photography
Photo by Ninette June on

Joseph Cornell Tries to Explain by Barbara Siegel Carlson

I loved each bead with its hole.
Every Cracker Jack toy has a story
that whispered to me as a bookmark
in a dream, a place I could lie down inside
where the blinds have cracks
and moonlight whitens the floor boards.
Because each symphony starts
with the movement of an ant
taking its grain of sugar back
to its home in the hole between voices.
Under the quince tree’s falling leaves
I lost myself, and my breath
couldn’t hold onto or let go of the bodies
of the stars that tore through it.

First published in Lily Poetry Review (Summer 2019)

Barbara Siegel Carlson is an author, translator, editor, teacher, and tutor.  She is a graduate of University of Rhode Island and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program.  She lives in Carver, Massachusetts, where in her free time she likes to walk the cranberry bogs.