Two poems from Sophie Klahr’s Two Open Doors in a Field
followed by a note on the author
Driving Through Utah, Listening to the Radio
I pulled over—the Jurassic sea was
spread in strata far across the canyon—
and sent a photograph of it to you.
I told you this was once a sea. As were
you, you said. There’s no way for faith to be
a rock, the Vatican astronomer
laughs, why would I ever want such a thing?
Just atom, just animal, symmetry;
Everything dies and that’s how it should be,
isn’t it? Too early gone, or too long
suffering—it’s what we claim loss to be,
but even Loss is the wrong word. For what
is there, is, and what is not, we still live
with. The astronomer’s laugh. What a life.
from Like Nebraska
She sees like a memory aware of itself as memory;
He is dressing in the half-dark like some old movie:
A man in a dream of farmland, his profile
plucked from switch-grass, made visible
By light casting its line inwards,
His pale body smelling of flight like a familiar story.
An entire landscape curving to pull on a pair of boots.
Driving Through Utah first appeared in Ploughshares; the excerpt from
Like Nebraska first appeared in Blackbird.
Sophie Klahr is the author of Meet Me Here At Dawn (YesYes Books, 2016) and the chapbook _______ Versus Recovery (Pilot Books, 2007). Her poetry appears in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, and other publications. Originally a dancer, her interdisciplinary work includes creating scenic texts for theatre and choreography for performance works. Her collaborative poems with Corey Zeller have appeared or are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, The Shallow Ends, Four Way Review, and other publications. A recent Philip Roth Resident at the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts, she is the 2019-2020 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.