Amelia Earhart Folds Origami Cranes by Adie Smith Kleckner


The fastest way to circumnavigate is to fold
the quiet black between stars.

Because I was unafraid to pull back the sky and look above,
the Earth unwinds a halftone map at my feet.

Gradations of light—porcelain white,
cowrie shell, bone china, mother of pearl—
are all just white against the unexplored other.

In pigment, white is the color of nothing.
Does the spiral end or just tighten imperceptibly?

Disappearance is dissonance, is to fall inside the folds,
is a riddle. The solution is folded in my pocket.

Loss is measured in degrees.
I fold the map into wings, the horizon is a crease

between ocean and sky.
The radio is a shell pressed to my ear.


This poem was a runner up for the 2018 RHINO Founders' Prize.

ADIE SMITH KLECKNER lives among piles of books with her husband, daughter, and dog. She studied poetry and visual art at Belhaven University and received an MFA in poetry from Seattle Paci c University. Her work has appeared in Cutthroat, Structo, and Ruminate, among others. She recently moved to Tacoma, Washington, and teaches at Green River College. In her poetry, she  nds herself returning to the timelessness of leaving and returning from war, and the people who are left in the wake.