April Ossmann


Young men seem all edges
+++and hard angles, shoulders
++++++like shelves, bellies like slides

to the most obvious
+++of pleasures, young women
++++++all crisp curves, so round

and firm, their union seems
+++geometrically insoluble.
++++++We soften as we age,

our geometries slipping
+++and sliding, in small
++++++or quantum leaps,

bodies and definitions blurring
+++as we morph, like mercury,
++++++into each new self we shape.

Living softens us
+++to fill death’s vessel,
++++++not like the solid we seem,

but the liquid we are—
+++so we may slip the cup
++++++like the sieve it is.

April Ossmann

is the author of Anxious Music (Four Way Books). Her work in The Cumberland River Review is forthcoming in Event Boundaries (FWB, 2017). She received a 2013 Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant for the manuscript-in-progress.