Two Poems

Poetry / Chelsea Jennings

Thinking of the Big Bang in a Time of Crisis

Initial singularity: < 10-43 seconds

impossible       the seed of light you imagine

there is no vantage point
the space and what fills it expand at the same rate

but what is the universe doing all in one place
—equations close over your head like a wave

so you read time’s book backward
to inhabit the standstill

before the fundamental forces divide

and the world starts travelling toward you
picking up speed

10,000 Crows

river of birds in a river of blue       tearing the edges of clouds

with minor violence they drag down the dusk       each with a piece
of dark in its beak

evenings they come here to lose their sense of direction
to wheel without formation       fluster the willows       disorient the wind

crows brighten by blackening       until the day comes untethered
until they set their shadows down

there’s a glint on the underside of everything

Chelsea Jennings is the author of Transmission Loss, which was awarded a 2017 Juniper Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming from the University of Massachusetts Press. She is the recipient of a Discovery/Boston Review award and prizes from the Black Warrior Review, the Cincinnati Review, and december. Her poetry has also appeared in such places as the Madison Review, Mississippi Review, Sycamore Review, Poet Lore, and Sugar House Review.