Karen Skolfield: "Art Project: Earth"




Balloon, then papier mâché.

Gray paint, blue and turquoise, green,

a clouded world with fishing line attached

to an old light, original to the house, faux brass

chipping, discolored, an ugly thing. What must

the people of this planet think, the ground

knobby and dry, the oceans blue powder,

the farmland stiff and carefully maintained.

Sometimes they spin one direction,

then back again. How the coyotes howl.

How the people learn to love, regardless.

The majesty of their own towering hearts.

The mountains, which they agree are beautiful.

And the turquoise—never has there been

such a color, breaking into precious

and semi-precious stones. They build houses

from them, grand places of worship,

and there is much to worship. Look up,

for instance. Six suns. The wonder of it.

First one, then the next, eclipsing

the possibility that their world hangs by a thread.



Karen Skolfield teaches travel writing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a contributing editor at the literary magazine Bateau. Her poems have appeared in Apple Valley Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, PANK, Painted Bride Quarterly, RATTLE, Slipstream, West Branch, and others.