Clade Song 9


            Some stars are drawn to the light,
            while others would rather stay in darkness.*

I have been sitting here for an hour
untangling the arms of star and starfish,
distracted by collapse and contract,

by the smoke-smudged face
of our own star, yellowing the table,
the floor, every labored breath.

A young star may be impetuous,
streak into the cosmos or sulk
in its intertidal constellation of dust.

Nothing meteoric about the leather star,
which creeps on tube feet at six inches
a minute, impelled by stellar appetite.

This sea star smells like garlic, looks
like pizza, does not worry about fire
or syntax, star formation, black holes, poetry.








A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, J.I. Kleinberg is co-editor of 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press 2017) and Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015) and co-produces the Bellingham-based SpeakEasy poetry series. Her poetry has appeared in One, Diagram, WA129, Otoliths, Raven Chronicles, Psaltery & Lyre, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and posts most days at and