A Record of Topography’s Imminent Collapse by Connor Fisher

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A solitary worker bee tugs at the implicit parallels in my window screen. The problem is that the view from my window is only as real as sketches on my daughter’s map. The folded sheets of paper rest in her palm. They make a mountain range from a mountain range. 

The documentary makes an oblique reference to photosynthesis and I raise a question: is plant plasticity as mutable as the cloud formation rising over a Baptist steeple? With eyes closed, I mistake a truck’s horn for the choreographed squeal of a train on the track. 

From the center of the poem, my daughter pipes up, invigorated: it’s summer, and her animal mouth glitters red with popsicle blood. She pins a finch flat on every canvas the city allows. Art is everything remaining in a year. 

The evening sunlight bisects my daughter into a cubist caricature of a listing rowboat: gunwales above the wave-horizon, bony knees below. Her image floats over corn stalks as convincingly as a grosbeak plucks each kernel from the cob, swallowing some down, scattering more on the ground as an act of accidental benevolence. 

The documentary catalogues the history of animal husbandry. The documentary indexes the niche rigors of cultivating wheat. My daughter watches, entranced; she now knows that, come evening, a single airplane will pass overhead. The lumpy moon will make an entrance, and distances will disappear. 

Connor Fisher is the author of The Isotope of I (Schism Press, 2021) and four poetry and hybrid chapbooks including Speculative Geography (Greying Ghost Press, 2022). He has an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English from the University of Georgia. His poetry has appeared in journals including Denver QuarterlyRandom Sample ReviewTammyTiger Moth Review, and Clade Song. He currently lives and teaches in northern Mississippi.

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