Are you sure this isn’t occupied France?

All of the connotations of the English word own
and all of its translation’s connotations

are sun-hard to look at directly, but fitted into glass tubes

and shaped into people/places/things, or the words for people/places/things,
or abstract representations of people/places/things

emit a blue light that reminds you of water you can look at
without a welding mask on, your mouth dropped almost into the shape of a perfect O,

same as if you’d seen a white whale.

He who understood stored energy in a genius way knew that sunflowers
could power the world. She who was waiting all her life

for a man who understood that sunflowers could power the world
wrote her number on the palm of his hand, closed that hand into fist,

held that fist with both of her hands like she was carefully packing and forming
a tribble or hippo or turtle or car.

Front page image by oatsy40.

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Matt Mauch

About the Author

Matt Mauch is the author of Prayer Book (Lowbrow Press), the chapbook The Brilliance of the Sparrow (Mondo Bummer), and If You're Lucky Is a Theory of Mine (Trio House Press). He hosts the annual Great Twin Cities Poetry Read, and also the Maeve’s Sessions readings, and edits the anthology Poetry City, USA , an annual collection of poetry and prose on poetry. A 2011 recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, his poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Salt Hill, H_NGM_N, DIAGRAM, Willow Springs, The Los Angeles Review, South Dakota Review, Sonora Review, Water~Stone Review, ILK, NOÖ Journal, InDigest, and Spinning Jenny, and on the Poetry Daily and Verse Daily websites. Mauch teaches creative writing at Normandale Community College, and lives in Minneapolis.
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