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December 21, 2022

Mom/the middle at the end

I borrowed your pain and

the pills they sent

to subdue the orbit of


until gravity softened,

releasing the mass

of our bodies


When your atoms dispersed

my reflection fled,

the refraction of light

caught in a chasm,

a stylus trapped in a

hollowed groove

the turntable purling,


Now I sing to fill the

negative space,

to find myself

in the absence of form,

my farraginous face

a Rubin’s vase,


seeking countenance.

My nucleonic notes


composed of

incandescent hydrogen,

my hot core the

cadence of fusion,

rising in coruscant


I am Helios

driving my chariot

to horizon’s edge,

my flaming horses


not knowing myself

until across the vast abyss

Aristarchus named me sun.


Originally published by Cathexis Northwest Press. Reprinted with permission of the author. 

© the author

by Lisa Delan

Soprano Lisa Delan can be heard singing classical settings of a broad range of poetry on the concert stage and in recordings for the Pentatone label. Her own poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in American Writers Review, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, Drunk Monkeys, Eunoia Review, Lone Mountain Literary Society, Mill Valley Literary Review, Poets Choice, The Pointed Circle, Tangled Locks, Treehouse Literary Review, Viewless Wings, Wild Roof Journal, The Write Launch, and Wingless Dreamer. She has been nominated for a 2023 Pushcart Prize.

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