1. My friend makes Limoncello in his turquoise kitchen
on the other side of the world; a fragrant roiling.
The oils distill, touch me through fingerstrokes,
a sharp, osmotic whiff of citrus.
We read The Book of Dreams, his eyes 16 hours ahead,
his hands. Water travels slowly in deep water.
If I should die, he’ll know almost a day before it happens;
I, dead, chattering blithely about lorikeets and ginkgo trees.
2. Alan Turing wrote to me all through the war.
He still writes occasionally, ghostly ruminations
on cheese and wine pairings, the annoying seam
in the toes of socks. If we could reconcile the dispersion
of light, we could see into the After.
He is in love with the curvature of space-time, how it turns
to foam, glowing at the corner of his eye,
the phone booth of it: such a holy beckoning.
3. Tonight, pour a glass of wine and take it behind the curtain,
into your evening shower. The steam and rolling drops
on the glass take you to a drive-in movie in the rain,
the skin-warmed scent of the person beside you,
the squeak of metal springs, the old silver microphone
hanging in the open window speaking into the now and now,
children running between cars, dodging mirrors,
tinned voices against the shower tile. Let stray, cold petals
find you: let them burn your skin.
4. In Loch Ness, water refracts at 1.334; it isn’t like vinegar,
or human skin, or coldwater pearls.
If a transparent object is surrounded by another
with the same index of refraction, it remains invisible.
The entire loch may be filled with arched necks, long torsos,
a bucketful of gleaming eyes: one blurred head rising in longing
to beckon through the ether.
5. I dance alone in my living room, swaying slowly,
Peter Gabriel on the radio as winter flutters by the fire.
Will my neighbor see me through the big front window,
dancing in the lingering glow of Christmas lights? Perhaps
she dances, too. In this plague year, I cannot remember the touch
of a man’s hand on my face, on my neck the softness
of his beard, his kiss. Coronal twilight is the hardest,
for violet light bends the most.
—A slightly different version of this poem appeared as one of several Cadralor
Samples in Gleam: Journal
of the Cadralor before the inaugural issue was launched on 5 December 2020.
is the author of Cloudshade: Poems of the High Plains (Sastrugi Press, 2015)
and Voices at Twilight (Sastrugi Press, 2016) and the editor of Blood,
Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers (Sastrugi Press, 2016).
She is a co-creator of the new poetic form, the cadralor, and Editor in Chief of
Gleam: Journal of the Cadralor. Her individual poems and essays have
appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as The Meadow, The Owen Wister Review,
Pilgrimage, and Red Hook, and her educational research appears in
publications such as The Journal of Poetry Therapy and Qualitative Inquiry.
Lori Howe holds an M.F.A. in Poetry and a Ph.D. in Literacy Education from the
University of Wyoming, where she is a professor in the Honors College. She lives
in Laramie and is a guest poet on Wyoming Public Radio.
⚡ New Poetic Form With Wyoming Roots Goes Viral by Micah Schweizer
at Wyoming Public Media (4 December 2020); includes audio of Lori Howe reading
her cadralore (Numbers 9, 5, and 4)