Steffi Drewes

to measure the forest in hindsight.


she has never been brave enough (or so she says) to take apart an entire engine, despite an affinity
for tools of all shapes and sizes.

sometimes there is hair collecting on the desktop.

sometimes a loud crash of accordion steel on the freeway.

nibble is just a nice way of saying being bitten. if the people say ravishing in response to a landscape,
know that is usually just the hunger talking.

no matter how well she knows the feel of the floor, the placement of sinkholes, maneuvering in the
dark still proves exhilarating:
                                                        on the brink & bathed in history.

when it all comes down to a pile of wires or thorny underbrush. when the skin sings instead of
sighing: hello ivy...hello circuitry.

locate the slenderest branch, give it a good name by obliging your inner compass.

in terms of blinding shutter speed, best to find order in the cortex. gently take the color away, leaf by
leaf, becoming its cleanest self.

carmex filling hairline ravines. one smile akin to a skirt, a hand brushing layers of soil. smooth
without pantylines, sand without landmines.

tired of the uncooperative foliage, try folding and unfolding this map until its wrinkles spell Eureka!

she keeps a growing pile of receipts in her fist, until the ink blurs over and begins to fester. until the
tossing of lost memory comes easily and into a black hole.




the sea has grown small inside us.


steady collapse instead of conundrum. where is the arrow when you really need it?

this keyboard is a hoax, as in a deliberate body double dons an elaborate maze and reckless chatter.
she is thinking it through. eating her way to the outer edge of.

today summer is a scaffolding, an inseam ripe for the plucking. you can follow any line but it will
only lead you so far. forget the southern hemisphere.

think avalanche. think short-sighted approval.

no matter that she has never fired a real gun and lacks 20/20 vision.

still could easily take to the streets in charades, string a set of lantern-halos and salivate on pop
rocks. could craft a secret handshake that can only be achieved at certain radio frequencies.

replace the leaky pipe with a pencil. say everything five times fast. this is yet another schoolyard trick for

until the hair is tied in knots. until the axels become axioms.

we cradle the feeling of friction in capillaries, magnified, then record it.

others wait for the sound of running water. open-mouthed and optimistic.

we have learned and we are learning: the source of some rivers is bedrock, the choice of some
pirates, bone.





- - - - - -

Steffi Drewes lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a contributing editor for MAKE: A Literary Magazine. Her poems have appeared in New American Writing, Parthenon West Review, Bombay Gin, Monday Night and Shampoo, among others. Her manuscript, Her Wingspan In Inches, was a finalist for the 2010 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Award.




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