In Defense of Disorder Chaos

           Imagine time as the presence
of feedback when the value of human life

                                 rises & falls. Imagine there is no one left
                     to trade a life for patterns in the snow, the dead

cars littered all around us. Fractals of light.
The lake swollen with moons. Imagine

           we are all we have. The nights I nursed
                                 more than the hours & the mouths

           at my breasts. The nights you went for a run
in subzero temperatures, & didn’t return

to see who we’d become. The hares, stunned
by the cold. Wolves outrunning their shadows

                     in the near-wild. If only
                                 the heart could be controlled. Imagine

           time is all we have. With this cold, & the hills
                     that rise & fall for miles.

Imagine being warm again.
That only the cold could part us.

Laws of (un)Certainty

A world exists inside exile
that bends us toward

safety. How often we are left
alone. A child is enough

to cure one’s disbelief in nature,
but there is no thrill

like refusing to believe
in the future. Touch

the world: do you feel
your own death

every morning you dare
to live? The moon’s reflection

slaked off the lake. The fear
reflected in the bodies

of the trees, hanging
over the fields.

Everything here is temporary.
Everything here is weather.


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, February 2020). She is also the author of the chapbook, What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Visit her website to learn more. 

Edmonton, Canada

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