Birth Stone

      The older women wise and tell Anna first time baby mother, “hold a stone upon your head and follow a straight line go home.” For like how Anna was working in the field, grassweeder, right up till … Continued

The Cataracts of my Grandmother

Somewhere beyond this kitchen and her old eyes there lies, I think there lies a country blindly hinted of. with wise all-seeing hands she grasps the damp, the give of dough; the dint of knife that flays the noodles fine; … Continued

A Mother

  Translated from Turkish by Nermin Menemencioğlu   The woman must have been out washing A bundle on her arm, her rough hands chapped with soda Like all Jewish women of her age She wore a faded black velvet coat … Continued

Bodacious

FOR ARCHIBALD J. MOTLEY’S BROWN GIRL     She’d walk up and take the sandwich from your hand to feed her kids She’d wear red ’round her rear on Sunday to Sunday service Her lips were painted red Her nails … Continued

Failed Essay on Shapes

      Mother tells Girl, who chews the word like bubble gum.   Or, newly toothed, Girl really chews an elephant’s helping of gum.   More interested in blowing a bubble than in the names of what she can … Continued

The Drawer Marked Meats

    A bedtime story about Bluebeard all the wives on meat hooks then wake up and the house is dark. Fear is a gift from mother— the way she grabbed our collar bones, said: get inside. We had the … Continued

Ache

    what if I began with the duck’s egg  its glossy carmine yolk bleeding  on the lake’s new summer path  its blue-green shell turned  inside out  if I say the wind  was frightening, that in the early part of … Continued

The Vermin and the Stars

    Fog moon, mud moon, moons of flowers and heat— this is the friction of space on space, the endless exchange of things through which swarm the insects of confusion, as in a changer’s dream, her ear a sleeping … Continued

Sparrow’s Song

      Shall I be of the Sparrow or of the Blood Eagle? The curve of a rose’s thorn mimics these lungs drawn through to make two bright red wings for a small child, a hopping hellion, hung high … Continued

Turning Points and Revolution

  This is a revolutionary moment in that everything is changing. But it’s not a revolution, because most of the forces we’re all reacting to (pandemic, injustice, a massive failure to find common moral ground) are not forces put into … Continued

Policarpa

Translated from Spanish by Heather Cleary Not being devoured is the most perfect of feelings. Not being devoured is the secret goal of an entire life. —Clarice Lispector, “The Smallest Woman in the World” (tr. Katrina Dodson)   She scratches … Continued

Necropolis

translated from Dutch by Donna Spruijt-Metz         in memoriam Joost Zwagerman   Woken up in a hut on the Bay of Baratti under a blood moon Barking dogs on hilltops ripped silence to pieces held the dead … Continued

Lament

translated from Dutch by Donna Spruijt-Metz         in memoriam Derk Wiersum   Having had to absorb a lot of life lately I learned through so much pain that being dead doesn’t seem so bad It is up … Continued

Girl in Tow

    At 3:02 in the afternoon of a summer Wednesday, a man in soiled red hiking boots approaches the summit of Mount Katahdin having traveled the entirety of the Appalachian Trail by foot. At the moment he reaches the … Continued

Six Haikus

          11. One sneeze can kill you Church bells ring seven futures Blackbirds flex sunlight     100. Blunt-rolling squirrels A crow rocks an evergreen The cupola smiles     23. A dog on Front Street … Continued

When the Season Is Fitting

for Diane Gilliam   …there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes … Continued

Rosalia

    When I was a child I was pixie dust.   That’s only part of the story.   The other parts are the boys from New England.   How they put their mouths to my neck, a river on the moon.   I … Continued

Son of Wine

    Thereupon R. Joshua, son of Karhah, sent word to him, “Vinegar, son of wine!*  How long will you deliver up the people of our God for slaughter!” Back came the reply: “I weed out thorns from the vineyard.” … Continued

Schubertiana

Translated from Swedish by Patty Crane     I  In the evening darkness at a place outside New York, an overlook where in a single glance you can take in the homes of eight million people. The giant city over … Continued

The Hero’s Triumphant Exodus

Translated from Hungarian by Timea Sipos Climb up onto my chariot, sweetheart. I’ll take you free of charge. The sharks planes are flying lower than ever. We have to hurry. My body is stubborn under metal. I burst forth. My … Continued

Pressure Lights

Translated from Hungarian by Timea Sipos This tunnel is underwater. It doesn’t matter whose it is. You’ve never seen anything like it: I hold the spheres of my life below sea level like a virtuoso. An inherited or learned reflex? … Continued

“Person” Comes From “Mask”

    Complete focus can resemble utter distraction, just like there’s a point where my lover begins to look like a stranger   and large things begin to look small. When the squirrel twitching in the dirt becomes, upon closer … Continued

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