Nancy Lynée Woo

Somewhere in Montana, Maybe


I have pockets of questions, spilling out
answers to nothing. Like, do dogs in space

still kick in their sleep? What’s a plot of land 
at 50,000 feet cost? How many saints will fit 

in the heaven of tomorrow? Endlessly, 
I’m plagued. The pleasure of thought decays.

Imagine how easy it would be to destroy
the entire known universe in pursuit 

of the perfect paper clip. Polar bears 
are not a high priority for whom? 

I’ll show them. Who am I kidding? 
My long hot baths don’t give a damn. 

I sleep with my phone in my hand.
Do something! Save the post office!

Glossy marbles tumble out my sockets, 
lost in the red, orange, amber hues 

of confusion. Everyone you disagree with
is right in some way. So I knock logic 

against faith and keep the winners; 
how much is an impression worth 

these days? How about an hourglass 
shaped like a rat skull, trickling coal?


Therefore, kneeling on a fault line,
I’ve taken nonsense as my mate for life. 

It beats trying to decipher the slobber
of suits on screens, hawking bottom lines.

We’re going to elope soon, and leave 
the world of presidential equations behind. 

Some people just aren’t cut out
for the straight lines of the city,

all of us bumping along and beeping
at each other, blowing darts in secret.

Where we’re going, there won’t be sirens
or dishwashers. Just bunkers of books

and lounge chairs, trickling rivers
of translucent water, and a slowness

that starts to feel like being wrapped
in fresh butter. We might know

we’re headed for the oven, and adorn
our lips with rosemary. The place

I call home is dried up and burning.
I want simplicity. I want to be the rodeo

I think I am, equal parts open spaces
to roam and a coin-slot bucking machine.


Why Montana? A friend of a friend said
something about quail and a pillow of stars.

My eyeballs are footballs I want to throw
like a lasso around the grandeur of ellipses.

What kind of adventure is this, after all?
I was born into a world of language.

We have everything we need—
my truest lover and I, hocus pocus

blabbling baloney, gibber and junk;
we can make anything up

and lose sense of the difference
between a scarecrow and a balloon

animal. Nothing’s at stake. No one
is forgetting the Holocaust. We will 

all live forever. The edges of the cornfield
start to wiggle. A body left out here

won’t be found for days. When circus 
clowns circle overhead, we play dead

and then book it back to the bus station,
yanking furiously, staring through glass.

Nancy Lynée Woo is an M.F.A. candidate at Antioch University. She has been awarded fellowships from PEN America, Arts Council for Long Beach, and Idyllwild Writers Week. She is the author of two chapbooks, Bearing the Juice of It All (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Rampant (Sadie Girl Press, 2014). She is the creator of Surprise the Line, a community poetry workshop. Nancy strongly believes in the power of the arts to bring people together. Find her cavorting around Long Beach, California, and online at