“The clouds are a marriage dress, of that pallor.”
Sent for everything capsuled in a blankness. A leeching of—.
My hands cupping nothing and utterly unasked for.
It is whiting-out here, a hospitaled sky.
The prairie grass lapsed into the almost-opaque
state of scotch tape (the flimse & gauze of lingerie held
up against the light). A shortwave, a landscape draped
to leaden. From out here I listen (a nurse) to the induced
paperwhites burst like heartbeats on chilled countertops.
Nothing swaddles, swathes, or fogs. The marrow undarking
around this small field of our marriage.
Look how the bleached horizons lay down like cirrusbone-
clouds across the lake. Look how the dendritic
branches exact themselves into a mirror, haul up
their roots to suck on the sky. Love, let us be rid of
the abrasion of vividness. The bright bulk
of dandelions, mums, the clot of forget-me-nots.
Let us perform an aftermath in blue—everything stop-
bathed at the almost-see-through.
When they trace our negatives under florescent lamps,
they won’t see the perfect white corners of our house
like surgery sheets—coruscant, tucked-in tight.
My wedding dress crushed into the cedar chest.
Cori A. Winrock
"X-Ray Pastoral" first appeared in Colorado Review.