poetry quarterly

10th anniversary

POETS IN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ISSUE

Carol Dorf

 

GRAVITY

Lends gravitas, however temporary
because if we were all in freefall, think
how childlike that would be;
careening into each other like new walkers,
holding onto the walls to avoid tottering,
drinking juice from boxes with straws;
but that is the least of it; sans gravity
we would lose the sanity of knowing
our bottoms from our tops; and we would reverse
other polarities, like true and false,
or in and out, until outboxes and inboxes
began to run together; time would lose
meaning, and the old and the young
would have a more equal relationship
to space. Eventually we would careen
out into the universe; small groups like seeds.

 

 

 

Carol Dorf worked for the federal government for two summers in a research facility in Warminster, PA, in the library, when the government was researching solar power in the mid-1970s. Her father worked most of his career for the federal government, in procurement for the Army. She writes, "I think my poems may have been influenced by working in a facility with multiple levels of security, and by the tension between the research mentality of the engineers and the security mentality of the managers." Dorf's poems have appeared in in Qarrtsiluni, Sin Fronteras, In Posse Review, Feminist Studies, Heresies, and 13th Moon. They have been anthologized in Not a Muse, and Boomer Girls.

 

 

Published in Volume 13, Number 3, Summer 2012.