Dani Couture Literature Poetry

A Brief History

Dani Couture

“De proche en proche, votre science mettra notre espèce à l’abri…”
— J.-H. Rosny aîné (Joseph Henri Honoré Boex), Les Navigateurs de l’infini

Witness to a bloom of false jellies that alternate
between yellow

smiley face Thank Yous and black Come Agains.

positives released to their new wild gyre.
Inland, a roughed-up stuffed

animal forgotten in ’83 Pizza Hut now as buried
as any body

even if the weather has been digging up graves.
Eras cycle,

float down washed out highways. A soft

against your leg says you have lost
an understanding

of your surroundings and cannot go back.
What feels like

a small death is only a tolling carillon’s
passing attention.

A blister. A moment in the key of minor. The index
of our refraction

is negligible but enough for you to believe
we’re still evolving

or able to change even basic habits. Forgetting to
lock the front door,

or learning to forget. Our lifecycles
are hardly understood

in comparison to X — the variable we have
not yet discovered

but expect to listen to Chuck Berry.
We’re growing

through one another like finger traps
and will soon

turn 200 with minimal consequence.
Still, recalcitrant

Earth may one day buck us toward
the closest passable exo.

No matter, we’re heavy, require launching,
are many.

We have our time, if not the time
of others. Tonight,

we remain here, waterlogged with cured

Our memories revealed by salt and suspended
in gelatin.

Some improvised, analog, carved into gold
fired interstellar.

Sit with me. The math of tonight’s half light,
heaven’s melted

plastics, renders us moderately more attractive,
which, in part,

keeps us breeding to extend the thoughts
we’ve been thinking.

To date, I’ve come to understand

like photos of themselves, like their pasts
— taken

at a distance. At a midpoint
and mistakable.

Allowing one to consider that it could have
gone a different way.

And possibly did or will. You waking up

of waking down to the next forty years,
which is now

the past forty years. It’s been so long
since we visited

the moon, every archival photo looks taken
from a single road trip

we based our entire lives on.

I purchased a second-hand tin of old

and tried to understand them as Boex’s
waning Tripèdes.

But it’s too late. By the time you tell someone
to look

at the harvest moon, it’s reduced, gone plain
as any other night.


Dani Couture headshot

Photo by Roberta Baker

Dani Couture is the author of three collections of poetry and the novel Algoma (Invisible Publishing). Sweet (Pedlar Press) was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and won the ReLit Award. Her most recent collection of poetry is Yaw (Mansfield Press).