Dark matter moves the universe away from itself
hold your breath the matter with no name could be symmetry
we don’t yet understand this blue planet our home
plum-colored blossoms fall from the wisteria and a faint smell of lilac
green vines tighten around the copper trellis hold things together
the universe is a corpse flower about to bloom
Higgs-Boson keeps the pieces together as we hurtle through space
we need more laughter (don’t you think)
spilled like pennies on a dark floor more glue sticks
and glitter more particles of god at the center of it all
Evidence of witchcraft, as a sign of women’s refusal to accept
their “place” in New England’s social order.
The men who wrote the books said witches could sing the moon down from
the sky and women should not allowed to speak in church
The Archbishop of Salzburg finally forbid the interpretation of bird song
another the interpretation of sneezes
Eventually, the men agreed that an old woman could be miserable and not be hanged for it.
or a widow, or a poor woman, or an ugly one.
Witches were the only thing all the religions agreed on. That, and the look
of a menstruating woman could tarnish a mirror
Women and magic went together like needles and thread
which were also tools of witchcraft
And ointment to cure clap dolls made of clay or mud
anything made of words
Even now, women are not considered completely human
they were accused of having sex with the devil
but burned as heretics against the church
last week the BBC reported
there was a 7-year gap when doctors
did not take women’s pain seriously
Maureen Clark is a newly retired Assistant Professor Lecturer from the University of Utah Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies. She was the president of Writers @ Work, a non-profit International Writing Conference from 1999-2001, the editor of Ellipsis: Literature and Art 1993-1995, and the director of the University of Utah Writing Center 2010-2014. She lives in Bountiful, Utah. Her poems have appeared in: Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Alaska Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Prairie Schooner, The Southeast Review and Gettysburg Review, among others. She has written two poetry collections This Insatiable August and Cult of the Unnamed Saints.