No visible horizon.
I drive to the end
of the world. A heart, the only dark
object. Shadow as reflection
& dislocation. White cloud layer
as snow. As my mother’s hair. Skin-
light: an arc of moon. The child
in my mind’s eye. I have spent
my life explaining. My mother, left
in some field. The car, stuck
in the snow. The guardrail,
unharmed. I have spent my life being defined
by what leaves, what arrives. Invisible
to the heart. Driving into the storm
where I was born. Where
to begin again—where? Not a tree
in sight. Not another car.
I have spent my life trying to find
a home, but I fear being found
will make no difference. The moon, an eye
in the snow. I struggle to keep
the car on the road. The tires
tug me toward the guardrails.
Sweating, the snow appears
as light. As a child,
I thought I could swallow it
& become the world. Carceral,
this act of disappearance. Snow-
light: a haze of bodies
passing each other
without seeing. At a turn,
the storm leaps. I slow.
Each mile, moving further
away, I used to want
to know where I began. Now,
I only want somewhere
to soften against me. Axe.
Peony. Poplar. Light.
About This Unit: Poems on Family and Finding Other Lines of Symmetry
CHELSEA DINGMAN’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Her second poetry collection, Through a Small Ghost, won The Georgia Poetry Prize (University of Georgia Press, 2020). She is also the author of the chapbook, What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Visit her website: chelseadingman.com.