Adina Kopinsky – Four Poems

Absolute Zero

The best poetry is written in the arctic —

glass fingers twist warmth from ink,

curl my body heat onto paper,
my words and I seek
each other’s skin.

Who or what will guide me across
my empty answers —

only knowable in the stillness
of absolute zero.

What Plato Says About Fractals

Let’s say the light is fractured, filtered
through a window, dust particles repeating themselves. 
The snowflakes we crafted out of paper and scissors,
a project we could do together on the couch,

shoelaces untied, your hair tickling my arm,
ignorant of how you grew from baby to boy —
Plato, his beard turned the color of starlight,
whispers, maybe the shadow and the form

are the same thing after all.  
The quiet seems like the pause between breaths
when you were first born, a window flickers with our snowflakes,
rotating question marks — shadows and disruptions of light —

What’s form but reflection?  You and me
glinting off each other, a moment as thin as paper,
a shadow shrinking from solstice.
Your knees against my knuckles when you slip into my bed

before dawn, before the sun has found the clouds,
before the moon makes room for morning —
in this room where we don’t see each other,
just light scattering off skin,

bouncing from form to shadow
and back again.

A Recipe For Moonlight

Who measures the salinity
of a boy’s dreaming body?

The moon mirrored
inside a bag of chips,
light flecks, edge of lips
puckered, salt grit, moon grin —

a night moan
crests the shore
salts the craters with crumb.

I whisper:
cradle the moon’s heart —
nestle your fingers in its crags,
when you hunger for my arms,
seize the aluminum cosmos.

Maybe manna tasted like this:
brine and dream
kneaded into orbs of light;
a quarter cup oil, potatoes
sliced to half-moons,
stars to taste.

Voyager, Challenger, Apollo —
the obscura of man’s first and final dream,
Buzz Aldrin slipping bites inside his helmet;
particles float past his pressurized suit.

Lay me to sleep in a salt-bed —
moonlight reduced to a non-renewable resource,
the umbilical that tethered you to craft
lost with last year’s spacewalk.
My breath unused; drifting from sleep to star.


A shadow
doesn’t adjust
to the sun’s
moving light

doesn’t care
if it will fracture
a highway
like the body of a woman
on a park bench,

the edges of a swing
swaying back and forth,
creaking to the tune
of the shadow’s rumble,

to pour over and under itself
coursing darkness
like a pail of greyscale water,
flung out the front porch,

filling this sliver
of world
with the shadow
of its days.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Poets often speak about loving language.  And I often think: as a person claiming to be in the business of words it’s a funny thing to be chasing beauty — that ephemeral being that so often exists beyond words, in transcendence of our ability to fully describe, that something that lies just beyond our grasp, teasing us with moments of startling truth that stutter with surprise, overwhelm us with recognition, and then slip away, leaving us with only a shiver of the skin as a memory.


Adina Kopinsky is an emerging poet living in Israel with her husband and three sons. She has work published or forthcoming in Carbon Culture ReviewThe Sunlight Press, and Ink & Nebula.