In Other News by Molly Fisk

In Other News

I am not walking along a shore,
hands in pockets and buttoned
up to the neck against this bright
November, thinking of everything
everyone I love has taught me:
how not to change lanes into
another car’s blind spot and linger,
the best way to conjure fire —
gradation of twigs, faster- and slower-
burning sorts of wood and it really
does have to be dry: smoldering
keeps no one warm. I can easily find
the edges now between anger, rage,
and disappointment by what’s running
underneath and stop before I lash out.
I don’t hurt myself or anyone else
on purpose. Cast iron gets wiped
with kosher salt and paper towels
so it will last a few more generations.
To swim across cold lakes, you walk in
up to your waist — no point getting out
if your suit’s already wet. I’m childless,
I have no one to teach this to,
it’s up to you. Use half a potato to twist
the broken light bulb from its socket.
If your gas pedal jams while accelerating,
the hand brake won’t last: turn off the engine.
Add a little pasta water to the sauce.
Don’t worry about dilution,
it will coat the noodles perfectly.


Molly Fisk edited California Fire & Water, A Climate Crisis Anthology, with a Poets Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets when she was Poet Laureate of Nevada County, CA. She’s also won grants from the NEA, the California Arts Council, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Her most recent poetry collection is The More Difficult Beauty; her latest book of radio commentary is Naming Your Teeth. Fisk lives in the Sierra foothills.

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