“In her new chapbook, Anne Boleyn’s Sleeve, Juliana writes of Boleyn’s life, love, and death.  While history often plays a part in her Juliana’s work, her constant insistence on the importance of the present, in a real or imagined world, makes it irresistible to follow her along wherever she goes.” ~Erica Dawson


Infinite space, infinite worlds, some
of them inhabited by beings wise
enough to apprehend their planet’s doom.
What to save?  How to eulogize
a world before it shudders into ash?
Alien parents tuck their dearest pearl
into a pod, a rocket, a crystal crèche
and launch it into hopeful space.  The girl
or boy or multi-gendered child inside
dies in hypersleep; the fuel depletes;
life support malfunctions; the ship collides
with a random bit of hurtling debris.
An orphanage of coffins crowds the sky.
Still, Jor-El and Lara have to try.



A wrong turn immediately, d’accord,
and here’s a church instead of the village road.
How Larkinesque, intruding among stones
and iron crosses, gateway cypresses,
a borrowed Brittany spaniel at my heels.

We retreat, find the yellow blazes
that mark the proper road, nod bonjour
to men raking leaves.  Always men–
where are the women?  Waiting for the bread truck,
wrapping themselves in a dozen tattered scarves,
gossiping about Americans.
The leaf piles smolder and pop like rifle fire
as chestnuts detonate in warm ash.

In the orange autumn hills, wild boar
fatten themselves on chestnuts.  Frenchmen fatten
on boar.  Taste of woodsmoke in the wind,
a murmur of the river’s rush, wearing down
the great, flat slabs of fallen granite
and gleaming schist.  The dog has disappeared,
but green and yellow blazes signify
that I’m still walking on a human track,
on the earth, as if I did not know.



Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)