By Meredith Stricker

“I know that Emily wrote most emphatic things in the pantry, so cool and quiet, while she skimmed the milk; because I sat on the footstool behind the door, in delight, as she read them to me” — Emily Dickinson's cousin Louisa

"fall into milk
like a baby goat"
the Mysteries instruct
and what is this milk
if not clouds, if not held
by an ordinary glass
if not this god-light
illuminating the refrigerator or slant
across a car window
the crack in the coal chute
wind-shook branches when you walk
around the block the door wide open
unsayable moment that stuns you
with boredom and revelation
because this is temporary
the way stars are temporary
our lives, tidal
the way laminaria sway
unhindered in storms
it is alright to shine transgressive
to be wet or dry or damp
to turn glossy and green to be many
grasses to be the underside
of tenderness it's alright
to lie down to be tired
and not yet dying to feel the salt
dry on your body and tug on your skin
coming out of waves to imagine
this mercy was meant for you