by Beth Ayer

An Important Rule to Remember

I stay alert for a chance to steal with an eye on the distance, another eye on a well-designed carrying case

Holding things that look larger Inside a smaller space Grain — and the god of grain — My cheerio soul — A dwarf planet after the goddess — And in turn — a chemical element In the seal of New Jersey. Can a harvest Make us homeless?

A succulent, all flesh and juice, taught me All gazelles are antelopes, while All antelopes are not gazelles.

I can’t tell what boundaries I should keep — limit Means you’ve been unrestrained — Does it?

Rooting the Asymmetrical Plane Enter, find the universe of movement Inside the stillness of your seat.

There is neither horizontal nor vertical Rectangle nor square

My symmetry is a Gameboy display darkening meanwhile Ellen makes the case for breathing and infinite variations.

Before I learned not to hope

I was hoping we wouldn’t so Love the steel trap. You can't change the planet or your skin I mean you can’t not. Find your edges and gather them.

Look to the tardigrade the pioneer species Float your scull back to the center in a slow yes

Settle into your new shape, each part a button or a shopping cart caster or a swivel stem. Ellen's voice chops into silence Faces hover in unison

Cars wash by more or less and the birds and the buds

A Birth

We begin without water Out of sync, then in. An undivided potential breathes It isn’t mine We’ve seen the other Mother on TV The centimeters and other Math, and violence

It isn’t always that way For example, there are Better ways to fall

There are in-between Seasons and eclipses Of the full moon.

Machine and body tend To your airways I can’t see you, and oh There is a light that never goes out Then you’re pressed to me. We begin.

Beth Ayer

Beth Ayer is a writer and editor living in Easthampton, MA. Her work includes a chapbook, Limping to the Big Bad (above/ground press). Her poems have appeared in Apartment Poetry, Divine Magnet, jubilat, and Sixth Finch.