Jeanne Bernhardt
New Zealand

Jeanne Bernhardt is the author of vorare lacuna, baby is this wonderland? and the snow poems / your self of lost ground. She is currently working on another book of short fiction and has recently been living in Hawaii.

Their long grace shape, curved in as discs to one another
two halves of the same sword, two deer so suddenly quickened awake
strangely smudged as dips and hollows in the bush
changelings, this twin like thing about them, some rubbing of
narcotic, some waif street life, with their unimaginable beauty
and drawing together, pulled out, unwilling to be
the picture was a wound I held in my hand
and I tightened my hold, knowing like shock
as though it were I with the camera, or me in them
submerged in this water-filled-looking-glass blowing bubbles
open-mouthed, that the air was oppressive, was not the right element
turning the picture, this way and that, like this and that
to find the true angle, the direction intended, the hidden one
behind the taker, this confirmation of amazement
and the drowning, flowing over.


From this watchful seed
it defines itself
lies in darkness with trees
the unclear sifting of shape
the portents and reefs, the running feet

The strange one among us
left tracks, frail, vivid as butterflies
buried them here
Empty handed though it was alive
taking nothing with it though it was lonely

Unseen by others
observed the hidden forest
bloom through an open shell.


No giant rain to lull, or voices
even if the sky is frozen, the stars are burning
holding to barrenness as I hold to air
relenting none of it, precision with intensity
does the sun shine? No, but the moon
is nearby

Allowing me this.