J.L. Conrad

Poem in Which Everything is At Odds

History doesn’t leave us much to go on.
Its series of locked doors, false walls in which
witnesses hide for years. A forced resettlement
with no view of trees. Desire seems to melt away.
I memorize the ceiling and plot my next move.
Rabbits sit chewing at the corners of houses.
You could call this a fascination with hiddenness.
You couldn’t see a whale if it were right there
in front of you, skin glossed with rain. But then,
who would? I wear heart-shaped sunglasses,
rhinestones lined on each earpiece. I have various
optimisms. A little glitter keeps one moving.
A flash of light can at times suffice for knowledge.

J.L. Conrad is the author of one full-length collection, A Cartography of Birds (Louisiana State University Press, 2002), and a chapbook, Species of Light (bellywater press, 2004). Her poems have appeared in H_NGM_N, Pleiades, Columbia, Third Coast, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, The Cream City Review and Forklift, Ohio, among others. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is working toward her PhD in literary studies.