Distress Calls

  Distress Calls If you are sailing and need help, but have no flares or rockets on your ship, there is a signal of distress a person can perform physically. Stretch out both arms on either side of your body, then slowly raise and lower them repeatedly. Pretend you are a bird flying in slow […]

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January

January Month of poems. Bark, rain-stripped and grey. Tears of amber sap, of cold, frost and snow days when even the birds retreat. Winter hedges us along, the red berries bright against the rust-brown, moss-covered, lichen-mottled shades of January. We must be careful what we think about these days. We’re at the age now when […]

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Cold Comfort

Cold Comfort I watched a deer standing in the snow— first star of evening caught in the branches of the pines. As dusk fell, its mate bounded into the clearing. They breathed into each other’s noses and I ached to be like them.

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The Darkening

The Darkening Summer’s fruit is rotting. I will use it to fertilize my seeds. When the world terrorizes me, I will hold up the mirror & ask: How do I terrorize myself? My path is strewn with bones. I will make a flute to play! Is magic, then, all in your head? wondered the initiate. […]

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Back From The Dead

Back From The Dead I wait, patient as leaves. You like to speak of pleasant topics, & keep the thicket of the heart unmentioned. My breasts have changed, their fullest moment wasted. We will have to make our peace, me & the skeleton, me & the hourglass. I cracked the ice, a blow that brought […]

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Spit

When my grandmother got married strangers spit on her white dress as she left the cathedral, hissing Communist! When I was 12, I spit on my friend, a bubbly blob on her nose—her face, confused. I thought it would be funny. But what I felt was shame. Around the same age, on a Ferris Wheel, […]

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Dream Sense

I dream of missing planes, my mother’s ghost, dressed in cold weather clothes. We are in my grandfather’s closet, which, in the dream is a ballroom fallen into disrepair. I need to tell her she is dead, but when I ask if she wants me to be honest, she says: “Not if it’s something I […]

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A Leaf Falls

We buried your grandfather’s body in a graveyard in old Virginia. I stood somber in a cheap black dress bought for the funeral, my eyes downcast, not belonging. In the nursing home we carried out boxes, and the elderly gathered like dry leaves, rustling, winter-haired. I wanted to sing to them, but instead I walked […]

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Filling The Night

Every year frogs hatch in our pool. Each night, a grinding chorus, throaty and pleasing, through the window as dusk falls. They’re all going to die, my husband says, they’ll get sucked through the drain. It ruins it for him. Not me, I love their dark, wet sound. It doesn’t seem so different from our […]

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Jewels

You must never, I say to myself, curse life again. The beauty comes from the difficulty, the trap-door -ever-giving-way-to- trap-door infinite capacity   of life. That we survive it is amazing, that we suffer is beautiful, because we are suffering in jewels. Glittering in the sun with all the decadent superb richness of our life’s […]

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