About this poet

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of ] Open Interval [ (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009). She is an associate professor of English at Cornell University and lives in Ithaca, New York.

Transit of Venus

The actors mill about the party saying rhubarb
because other words do not sound like conversation.
In the kitchen, always, one who's just discovered
beauty, his mouth full of whiskey and strawberries.
He practices the texture of her hair with his tongue;
in her, five billion electrons pop their atoms. Rhubarb
in electromagnetic loops, rhubarb, rhubarb, the din increases.

From ]Open Interval[ by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Copyright © 2009 by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.

From ]Open Interval[ by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Copyright © 2009 by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.