Three Poems by Shanna Compton


from The Seam


Perhaps a sungrazer     cleaved into chunks—
does the ice at the center     persist in some other state
like us     never bother to melt     Will we
vaporize as completely     transformed by the shock
of ravaging atmosphere     especially here

where a fringe     of tamped-down grass
surrounds a field     sown with untenable seed
unbecoming     hailed down upon     now by the pitted
blisterhot tektites     the Solar System undoing a few buttons
showering as sparks from a saw     running through

the usual separations    She there  /  The rest of us
over here     A gang of smokers
not noticing     her     or the armorless hare
bulging to planetary size     each picking her way
among the hissing fragments     molten debris, glassy

under the emberfall     (blue glittering umbrella)
she seeks her dreamed     depression
in which to lay her litter     "icy small bodies"     Restless
persistently refusing     in this shower turning storm
of white and searing     lights unsought     to shelter
smokeless as she is    soundless in the grass
our eyes     drawn up     (We lost her then)

mouths open to taste the flash


The ears of this beast
are like angels’ wings,
ships’ sails and rowing oars
to help her in her flight

The horns of this beast
are like fingers spread unto
the stars, like a pleading gesture,
the threat of the skewers

The claws of this beast
are irregular bony growths,
imaginary, already clotted
with blood to help her in her flight

The eyes of this beast
are a feast of wilderness ever
opening onto its blurred edges,
taking in the Seam in blinks like stitches

The heart of this beast
peppers like gunfire the flesh
the skin and hair of this beast
to help her in her flight

The pellets of this beast are re-eaten
the leavings of this beast never found
the tracks of this beast evaporated
to help her in her flight

We took the miscreants
creatures of fat and felt
and cradled them stroking them
with our honey and goldleaf eyes.

We attempted to show them these pictures.

But these hares do not lie still
as if dead. These hares
are three-quarters metal
disguised as rust-bloomed fur
until you tongue them.

Our hares are a mutant lot.

Shanna Compton’s books include Down Spooky, For Girls & Others, and Gamers. She’s currently at work on her third poetry collection, with recent pieces appearing in Ducts, No Tell Motel, and Court Green. She lives on the internet at

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