Poetry

Red Berries

For Francesca Tell me what the winter whispered to you From icicles growing like candles, from deep snow Like a frozen wave in the shadowed corner Of the fence, from the last red berries Glowing like flames in the faint cool light Of an afternoon sun. Tell me it vowed A god with wings like […]

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Steeped in Stars

Jasmine, night blossom, vetiver to my barren heart, let me caress you. don’t go. Your sweet song perched on my ear rings steps into round gates between bamboo groves, a gaggle of cousins underfoot. Grandparents chorus greetings inside while layering symphonic poems of perfume and tannin in handwoven baskets. In the fingerless swelter I fold […]

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The Watchword

So now you make an entrance, never my ghost, the partisans’ poet, their luck till the end. Now you waver like a daylit candle seventy-three years burning and not done with memory yet. You came up from nothing but words, hardworking Hirshke, dreamed forests within walls and new roads from the forests and left your […]

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Translatio

My mother’s letters are lost to me. I cannot read the language they are written in. My mother tries to teach me, long ago, turning our scarred kitchen table first into a desk, then into a jail. “Look here,” she says, “See how the word for heart is at the heart of the word for […]

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Osiris

Expecting, always, the resurrection, I made a study of wounds: the catgut stitch, the keloid itch; broke bones to watch them freshly bridge; read Gray’s and Ebers, lamplit, while my right hand charted tides. I toured the graves, clasped disinterred men close to gaze through their shocked eyes, seeking: a kite’s reflection, a last impression, […]

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cardioid

slip between the grating of my ribs, inside the pink jacket to clasp my heart just so, as you would a cicada’s glass husk, its flutter iron on your tongue. squeeze your fingers deep in every fold and cleft, feel its thunder press on your every whorl and line, and leave the negative print to […]

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Spatiotemporal Discontinuity

I. There is the before, the escape, being hurled into the rift gashing across spacetime the needlethorn layer pulled across skin. The words that are scrambled after your brain passes through the gap. There is the after. II. After the searing rush of information there is silence. Rooms blanketed in beige, a bed soft as […]

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hypothesis for apocalypse

elders told me your face could be opened like persimmon cleaving apart at the fingertips, reddened as blood does, as bloodied fingers will do. inside, a round sphere unheld by any other parts of any other. seed of nothing else will do, root and salve of you, sweet and cracked; surviving all droughts, i keep […]

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