Isti Mirant Stella

Poem by Claire Wahmanholm

I’m telling you about my favorite panel,

the one with Halley’s Comet dragging its tail

across the sky like an aerial advertisement,

its pin-wheeled head radiating omens

inches above the city’s crenellations.

Linen men are pointing at their wonderment,

at the comet, at the letters sutured to the sky

I’m also pointing to—which is both the why


and the what I’m telling you. How size and time

can wrap us in a paralyzing knot

that we can ever only try to mime

our way free of, pulling ourselves until we’re taut

to the point of breaking, pointing therethere  

dragging our fingers across tapestries of air.


American Arts Quarterly, Summer 2015, Volume 34, Number 3