This and That

is the demonstrative but

don’t-pin-me-down response.
It is the fear of voicing the idea too soon,
or revealing the secret no one wants.
It coyly averts fireworks:
either that palm-tree spread of leaves
that twinkle themselves out with awe,
or the burst and burn inside the chest,
sparks singing ribs with a hiss.
Sweet pronouns lean specific,
glance toward our common reference point,
imply we know what we’re talking about;
they are so much better
than the shrug of shoulders.

Anna Leahy is the author of Constituents of Matter, which won the …

Through the Panhandle

We think of the whole world in temperatures
because numbers describe and delineate,

allow us not just to compare, but to
judge: too hot, too cold, just right, the story goes,

how …

The Nuclear Age

Never underestimate clever lives engaging all reason. No
uranium can lessen ever after rushing: now-now-now! uttered
childlike, envy-anger reaching. New understanding crafts
likenesses, excites atoms, reality never upended completely. Let