Christopher Ankney


The way we are not
a circle is beautifully fixed.

To place things in the world
my toddler asks me how

a circle is not a square. Why
you mean. Why he asks

why a circle is not a radio
why a horse is not a table

why meat is not potato though
we eat them together.

Aliens don’t strike him
with fear so I ask him why

to which he giggles and says
that word is silly—and me

silly. There’s harmony
when he asks how voices grow

from the speaker.
Sound rides bareback

on invisible waves, like aliens.
Circular logic trots

back around, a certain
finality after establishing

its fence.

Christopher Ankney

is the author of the debut collection Hearsay, which won the 2014 Jean Feldman Prize at the Washington Writers' Publishing House and was a finalist for the 2015 Ohioana Book Award. His poems have appeared in such journals as Boston Review, Gulf Coast, Hunger Mountain, and Prairie Schooner. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and two young sons and is Professor of English at College of Southern Maryland.