Mothers and Daughters: Intermittent Signal (Non c’è campo)


My sister’s voice
shattered across
an inconsistent, oscillating
stammering in and out
of being
then gone
but imprinted
on the field
not of you are here
but of you are this.


My grandmother’s pearl
earrings oscillating
one black pearl one
the color of cream
thick with fat.
– she moves her head, lifting
her hands to speak
two palms holding up
a weightless field –
her lips move and issue
the sound of glass


I am made up of stars that are not, or
the container of their memory:
fireworks cracking the saint’s day
of the insomniac night
I became not always
the one who leaves
but the one who is (for her)
the fertile field/the constant star.


How long until she knows
what it is to be the glass
flowing into flatness,
ceding the vertical,
breaking the light,
into water?

by Bonnie McClellan

"non c'è campo" photograph by Bonnie Broussard

a note on the title: Italians often refer to a place in which there is no reception for mobile devices as “un posto dove non c’è campo” – although the word campo translates as field (with the same degree of semantic density as field in English) it also implies range or depth of field.

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