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Sarah J. Sloat

Infinite Loop

What's What

On Missing the Bottom Step

Ingested Pins

Infinite Loop

Somewhere the book I’ll never read lies expiring.
Its pages take a breath that could be mine.

I turn my jacket to the cold.

The sky clears, although the universe boasts an abundance of dust.

The sun goes down most days without my noticing, whether kohl or rust or violet.

In my sleeplessness there’s something missing.
A star too wise, a sly aside.

The back spigot drips, as if to wash a pair of hands that never shows, a wagered patience.

In past centuries, people believed clams were born of sand, and worms from snow.

Listlessness takes time.

The infinite is a slow reader.

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What's What

I go to the kitchen in a celebration of walking.
I turn the corner in a celebration of being able to bike.

Don’t confuse falling with landing.
I might lie splat out in the grass
and take charge of the sky.

I’ll have no truck with the landscape.
A splash of gravel here. A difficult ocean.

I drag myself to the store in a celebration of dragging.

I go to the hill
and the hill helps me down.

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On Missing the Bottom Step

The chasmatic jolt flung up
from the foot through the femur

rebounds in the cranium, rearranging
the chamber of jawbone and lobes.

One tooth chipped for hubris,
one tongue tip for ignorance: sacrifices

made for the sake of moving along.
Blink, and an oft-trodden path turns

into an unexpected trajectory
that one must travel without a banister

that one must plunge
for the sin of omission.

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Ingested Pins

In the medical museum cellar
alongside several lifetimes

racked by pain and grief
lies a display of thimbles,
beads and teeth

and a scattering of silver
safety pins arrayed in a wide drawer --

an inventory of swallowed objects
primly cataloged and neat, clasps

like tiny wayward anchors
that came back clean,
unbroken by their voyage.

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Sarah J. Sloat lives in Frankfurt, a stone’s throw from Schopenhauer’s grave. Her poems and prose have appeared in The Offing, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Sixth Finch, among other journals. Sarah’s poetry chapbook on typefaces and texts, Inksuite, is available from Dancing Girl Press, which also published Heiress to a Small Ruin in 2016.

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