Ars Poetica
by MARY CHRISTINE DELEA



“Bombed by the constitution,” says a colleague
at a department meeting. I write it down.

A student talks about farm tools, and I imagine
the title, “Why I Love My Shovel.”

I misread the ad for a new book of fiction, see
“Life on the Moon” and write.

The Weather Channel churns up storms, sun,
tsunamis, snow, sprinkles, showers—

I am transported to the sky, where my vision
changes. As my beautician streaks

my hair, the smell reminds me of Belpre, Ohio’s
factories, like the scent of cooked

cauliflower almost burning, and the oddness
of those plants at night, all lit up,

cities unto themselves, but practically deserted,
gated, guarded, secreted away,

and how, driving by, knowing I was not allowed
inside, I wanted nothing more than to sneak in,

break the rules, hold my nose against the stench
and discover the reason

for making that part of darkness in southeastern
Ohio so bright and full of contradiction.



MARY CHRISTINE DELEA is originally from Long Island, New York, and now lives in Oregon with her husband and their 5 rescue cats. Poems of hers will be published this year in Zone 3, new ohio review, New Mexico Poetry Review, and others.