Memory Demonstrates the Valley Fold

Mary Cisper


Teleprompting my mother last week—
splice question mark hands, migration routes:

homecoming takes four generations
to arrive in Mexico, polished and shined.

Freeze frame:   Hold it.  I’ve never been there.
When the chrysalis flusters,

cut to a bouldery landscape telling
a creation story, your choice—

“in the beginning” a science charm
like oxbows in rivers

and if a flower slow-mos inside out,
this enfolds—

yes, the tissue fragment:
the beating of their wings the sound of light rain




Mary Cisper


Boil water
at the back of the truck—

thermal cup,

is bitterly cold

to a hardened

to throw light,

cleave a stone.

Snow geese murmur
weedy facts,

mud a stopover

Park here,
if you can’t see yourself,
the sun is about to—

Large tawny mother feeling,

it unseals—

as snow

with both hands—


Mary Cisper Author Photo
Mary Cisper has returned to northern New Mexico after completing an MFA at Saint Mary’s College of California. Recent work appears in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Terrain, and Denver Quarterly (forthcoming).