Kelli Russell Agodon

When We Make Lifelines, the Universe Breathes a Little Easier
December 21, 2021 Agodon Kelli Russell

When We Make Lifelines, the Universe Breathes a Little Easier


When night becomes heavy, I break a hole
in the bag of the universe and climb out.
I tell you I struggle to keep the wind
from disturbing Jupiter’s moons, lacquered
and hung carefully to dry, else night would fill
with dissonant chimes.
Who knew the universe would end up as tangled
planets, how the strings that hold us would wrap
around our wrists. You ask where I am
headed in such a hurry? To find the scissors
to cut the knots. All morning the otter has been
tying the kelp strands into bows.
The sea becomes the gift we open tenderly
where orcas stitch and patch, making room
for their young, blessing the moon as they swim
through her light. Because the sky tells us
we must hurry, I knit my worries into a chain
of grasshoppers, a lifeline in this diorama of ours
to save us from unmooring.


Ronda Piszk Broatch is the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press). Ronda’s current manuscript was a finalist with the Charles B. Wheeler Prize and Four Way Books Levis Prize. She is the recipient of an Artist Trust GAP Grant. Ronda’s journal publications include Blackbird, 2River, Sycamore Review, Missouri Review, Palette Poetry, and Public Radio KUOW’s All Things Considered.

Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of four collections of poetry. Her newest book is Dialogues with Rising Tides published by Copper Canyon Press. Kelli is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press where she works as an editor and book cover designer. She lives in a sleepy seaside town in Washington State on traditional lands of the Chimacum, Coast Salish, S’Klallam, and Suquamish people where she is an avid paddleboarder and hiker. She teaches at Pacific Lutheran University’s low-res MFA program, the Rainier Writing Workshop. /