Killarney Clary


She’s worried about the roll of the boat. He will sit wherever she wants, asks her if she’d like to lie down. She lays her head against her sweater on his lap and they both close their eyes, a few of his fingers tucked under her upper arm, his other hand ordinary on the sill. The island of Hoy passes in the mist, the high cliff near Yesnaby.

I tell myself often where I am, what day it is, how long I’ve been away, what more to go. A man was measuring distances between the ridge of henge and each standing stone at the ring of Brogdar. He said he was looking for order.

The ship begins to rock now; I watch the strict horizon and weigh toward the steady sea floor, drift.

Killarney Clary’s fourth book of prose poems, Shadow of a Cloud but No Cloud, was published by the University of Chicago Press. She has received Lannan Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts grants.