IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE by Caroline Maun

IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

1.
The embers of burning acorns,
pine cones, and palmetto
rise and fall neon red
in a gust before the rain
puts them out. The girl
won’t be at home that day,
won’t have a busted memory
or be riven by time.

2.
Beanstalks in mist rising toward
a full moon in rich soil. The imperceptible
movement of tendril toward support,
felt but not sure.  The girl
won’t be at home that day,
won’t flash back to the hand-
print gray on the wall, or the
fingerprint powder on the dresser.

3.
A lap swim on a snow day,
safety-orange banners slow
waving over the pool, refracting
in waves. The girl was
home that day, but hid.
She heard the lock jimmy
because she was awake,
and made herself very small,
like a milkweed in a wheat field.


Caroline Maun is an associate professor of English and Interim Chair of the Department of English at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she teaches creative writing and American literature. Her poetry books include The Sleeping (Marick Press, 2006), What Remains (Main Street Rag, 2013), and two chapbooks, Cures and Poisons and Greatest Hits, both published by Pudding House Press. She has also been published in The Bear River Review, Crack the Spine, Delmarva Review, Failbetter, The MacGuffin, The Main Street Rag, Mount Hope Magazine, Summerset Review, Third Wednesday, Peninsula Poets, Waving Hands Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Eleven Eleven, among others. She has studied with Peter Meinke and Sterling Watson, and has attended the Bear River Writers’ Conference for more than ten years.