Three Poems

Claire Donato




Found my black box and it was a circle
What do you want me to say
This is an unanswerable Q
In the words of the person my lover prefers
We need to forget to delete
And chances are we’ll meet again next week

And here I am using the verb to meet
To invoke the name of a black metal tape
With bright yellow letters
That enforces the distance
Into which omission demonstrates its seriousness
Among the glitches where commitment will persist

And now I’m sitting still; it is an existential project
And now I kneel at your side; no one will know
And since there’s 10x more danger
In knowing, it doesn’t hurt to ask
What will happen when one day you don’t
Perhaps we will enjoy it






There’s a part of me that wants to be in every conversation, though sometimes I give off
bad vibes, the room filtering through my body’s data frame by floating frame, the mind
a brain I light and examine as if through an electron microscope effortlessly
feeding on vegetation found in lawns and on the forest floor to state a major
revision, or to rephrase a Q in the form of a hive, and to acknowledge that
for this question, I do not have an answer, and
for this answer, I decline to answer further.
My once-pink love became a now-closed word that sits completely still.






It would seem death made me a man
But instead it made me an inversion
Mocking the idea of a true original self
Where one’s greatest joy is accounted for
By the campus community
Against which I find desire stripped
Of the recently departed
Loophole through which I summon this
By-product of a feeling
That started as a pencil drawing
Where light is a tectonic
Said to be an atmosphere itself

But damn if it’s not a lullaby
And if we could be whatever
We wanted, we would be in the
Moment, rather than enclosing
Ourselves in one plane of
Symmetry split in two in
Order to understand
How our lives are changing, and
How we’re changing

And so it seems P is greater than Q
And there is always some way to
Fall apart by accumulating
Debt, where what we are allowed is
Determined by a credit card’s maximum
Or the absolute division of logic
Absorbed by silence
At the end of this message
At the end of this sentence
At the end of this symptom
Where I am here with you


Claire Donato is the author of two books: Burial (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2013), a novel, and The Second Body (Poor Claudia, Spring 2016), a forthcoming collection of poems. Recent writing has been published in PLINTH, Encyclopedia L-ZPEN America and Tarpaulin Sky. Currently, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Architecture Writing and BFA Writing programs at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She is also the lead curator for WordHack, a monthly series at Babycastles Gallery focused on digital language art. For more information, visit