Tributaries: “Nuchal Origami”


If I could untangle umbilical
cord, measure calcification, label
isosceles, scalene, acute, copy
your construction, its strict geometry
I could find comfort at your steel altar
meditate to the wasp buzz of power;
electricity thrums from pylon
to pylon, links hospitals, homes to town.
I want to touch you. Feel the memory
of sunlight, warm as a rosary
remember the exact shade of bedtime
behind clouds, of cracked egg moon,
spent chickadee feathers in whip-poor-will
nest, grainy ultrasounds.

Keri Withington is a poet and assistant professor of English at Pellissippi State Community College. Her poems have previously appeared in numerous journals, including Blue Fifth Review, Rat’s Ass Review, and Fox Adoption Magazine. When she’s not writing or grading papers, Withington enjoys spending time in the Smoky Mountains and visiting museums with her family.