Of a Cold Country

    Across the room you stand in torchfire, early king of cold country. You drink wine. Your smile is a thin refusal. I made you out of lies and colors. I learned your face before then formed it. I … Continued

The Body of Coney Island

    This place is almost larger suddenly              than I can get to. My senses fuse, clearing Coney Island piece by piece              like a sharp stick this noontide. … Continued

The Rapture: A Sermon

    We, the elect, will be lifted into the purity of our politics, lifted like smoke into the upside-down buckets of bells. We’ll ring against each other and that will become the noise of the nation hanging over the … Continued

The Creation

      It was a dream of bodies  It was a dream of your body        unlocking itself from newly risen fields  It was a dream of you        materializing from the brown limbs of … Continued

Colombia

Translated from Slovenian by Phillis Levin and Tomaž Šalamun     Cats have set themselves on wings. Buttons have buttercups. Hares are soft flesh, hares are soft flesh, they shudder and hustle. They rise the sun, actually they hold it … Continued

New Year’s Eve Dress

    There is no satrap with a decree that says nudity is preferred. There is a river that dictates this to me. Strapless, thin, short, implying bodies for warmth, a fireplace, luxury of heat. I have worn rhinestones. I … Continued

Good for You

    this harvest moon’s a swollen pinguecula yellow-orange bulbous and tucked tight against its shadow side like mine’s tucked against my iris. the doctor says UV light or dust and common in farmers or simply susceptible people like me. … Continued

América’s Sun

Translated from Spanish by Orlando Ricardo Menes     My bedroom shut, and I traveling in dreamful beaches where I fish for ancient myths, and a coral reef raises its future soul that will write books. (The man, his head … Continued

I Am…

  Translated from Spanish by Yvette Siegert     my wings? two rotting petals my reason? shots of briny wine my life? a well-conceived void my body? a fissure in the chair my moods? a child’s gong my face? a … Continued

The Lapidary Crystal

    All around the city, people are staying up late, burning the midnight oil, losing sleep, trying to get things done, to find answers, acquire knowledge about subjects unknown to you and me; in the stone and glass pavilion … Continued

Horse Girl Fever

    Poor Horse Girl. She was cross-eyed and flunking the fourth grade because she couldn’t stop drawing horses, big beautiful stallions that galloped across her math homework and into her English compositions. Her feet pointed out like a penguin … Continued

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

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