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About this poet

Chelsea Dingman is the author of Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which was selected by Allison Joseph as a winner of the National Poetry Series. She teaches at the University of South Florida and lives in Tampa, Florida.

Snow Fugue

A mournful voice sings to quick beats
in my head, but I know nothing of heaven. In a frenzy

of whirling wind, headlights on a white wall, I pull
over the truck. Late April & the sky has broken
its neck. I swear I see faces pass the windshield. The howl

of voices I’ve forgotten in the cracks of the doors. Whistling
through windows. I close my eyes & count

their bones. Wonder if this is the dream where children are
buried. Why each move towards home takes me
further away. The cab rocks & creaks. When I open

my eyes, every tree is erased, Every stone & bird & gravel
road. Stepping outside, I lean into snow, wanting

to be lost again. To know that kind of violence. How cold needles
the insides of my nostrils. My mother, in a ragged babushka,
bent over Rohatyn’s fields. How I began in a place I can’t find

with my hands. Now, how not to welcome the snow’s blades,
a torn blood vessel, the fire in my fists. How when wings plume

on cold a spring morning, I am blinded instead.
But, I whisper even though there is no one
to hear. Even as I wonder who’s talking, —who I hold

so tightly inside. Like a hummingbird, before
it flies out of my throat & falls

to the ground. Before I palm its heart
& find it still beating.

From What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Chelsea Dingman. Used with the permission of the author.

From What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Copyright © 2018 by Chelsea Dingman. Used with the permission of the author.

Chelsea Dingman

Chelsea Dingman is the author of Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017). She lives in Tampa, Florida.

by this poet

poem
	Church of the Holy Spirit, Rohatyn 1924

You enter to escape
the cold & find a canvas of St. John,
                  his hands unsealed

to write. Other icons,
painted in vibrant reds, mounted
                  on wooden walls’ slick gloss. All white

men, suffering and suffered. Christ,
stripped.
poem

                 “This is the only kingdom.
                 The kingdom of touching:
                 the touches of the disappearing, things.”
                                            —Aracelis Girmay

                                                           

poem

Every minute or so, a hallelujah
dies in someone’s mouth. Every minute or so, a gunshot.
            A ceasefire. A tire shreds

                        on the highway, & pieces flit like sparrows
across the sky. Silly me. I thought
                                                we