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Autonomy, Landscape, Terrible Love
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Autonomy, Landscape, Terrible Love

Never mind cycles.

           Never mind the way parasites train for survival or how bears turn their bodies off           continually inside some hollowed-out tree trunk where love is nothing, yet is still           something that sleeps.

Bridges have changed my favorite river into a prize. Here is the covered bridge you walkthrough when you're feeling old-timey. The way you think crossing over a body

           of water equals acquiring the other side.

                       There, you tell me half-truths, like the wind                       must be inchoate somewhere.

Because this is mostly about whoburies whom, we have no sense of the pressure that might have created us,or where our bodies went to.

           Where our bodies went to, so quickly away.           It is hard to get the compass to spin because it is dividing here

                       from not here.

                                   I wait to exit through the forest of substitutes.                                   Everything (branches) are standing in for something else                                   (units of measure). There is how far I am from you

           and how far the ground is from injury.

                       The bleached pines will survive us if I don't open my eyes.                       All those maps for hatching under bark, for breathing                       into fresh-dug holes—

they can't locate me.

                                   Nor the river when I imagine the bridge collapsed.

The trees allow their diseases to burn out in daylight so that I won't see how they glow when they suffer.

           One might lie down, undisturbed, beneath a tree and wake up to the moon           fusing itself to one's tongue as if it might repair what little longing is left waiting there.           What little longing awaits,

                                   spinning under glass. [End Page 17]

Corey Van Landingham

Corey Van Landingham recently completed her MFA at Purdue University, where she was Poetry Co-Editor for Sycamore Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Barn Owl Review, The Collagist, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Cream City Review, Devil's Lake, Indiana Review, Mid-American Review, Redivider, Third Coast, TYPO, Washington Square Review, and West Branch. Her poem in this issue received a 2012 Intro Journals Award, selected by Susan Grimm.