Cloud Studies 1

Stephen Burt

Little vertical stripes—

the ring of nervous children at a dance class,
who cling to the walls on every side of the gym.

Then one line’s white, so low on the horizon
above the harbor and above New Haven,

a tape measure on a flat map,

the other tufted, lofty, repeatedly shaped
like “product” in deliberately mussed hair,

and over that, nothing, as if to say, pay it no mind.