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Fischer, Joan (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 51, Number 3 (Summer 2005)

Poetry,   pp. 22-28

Page 22

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The Opening 
in the World 
There's a cat-sized opening in the world. 
Watch him slip through it, who seems 
with his hissing eyes and purring yawn 
more old god than new: it opens just for him. 
Now it is a door held six inches ajar 
to let him out, now the miniature arcade 
of tree roots in the yard, now the cove 
a blanket makes around his body, 
the Sunday paper tented cat-high. 
Here it is-the cloister vault beneath 
your knees, the span of your hand 
under his back, the way death fits him 
into the schedule as if he belonged. 
And what is on the other side? 
In some cases snow, and so he turns 
around and slips back in. Or rain 
or loneliness, and then he grooms. 
Sun? Only he knows, stretching 
in the gracious yellow aperture of space. 
There is a fissure in the world he falls through 
unassuming and shapely as water, he and all 
the others here, and you, tumbling after. 
by Cynthia Belmont 
Cynthia Belmont is associate 
professor of English and Women's 
Studies at Northland College in 
Ashland. She has published in a 
variety of journals, including 
Cream City Review, Iris, and 
Poetry, and has won Academy of 
American Poets awards and an 
honorable mention from the 
Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. 
She is completing her first book. 

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