Cosmological Litmus Test
Rosemarie Dombrowski



The calendar erupts into planetary rotations,

retrograde days and phases of the moon,

hours measurable by the cadence of stars.

He leaves stories of the Lakota

on her doorstep, mother grizzly

and the white buffalo, the woods a voice

whispering bodily migrations for centuries,

all of which she struggles to remember

until she convinces herself that Nirvana

is located in the synapses,

that the lower Sonoran is a metaphor

for aimless drifting, her mind

a transmutation of the scorpion’s sting,

the cholla’s circulatory dance,

one that begins in her right ankle as pain

and repeats like an infinite chorus.




Rosemarie Dombrowski is the founder of rinky dink press and the inaugural Poet Laureate of Phoenix, AZ. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies, The Philosophy of Unclean Things, and the forthcoming The Cleavage Planes of Southwest Minerals [A Love Story], winner of the 2017 Split Rock Review chapbook competition.