Poems

“I read the line over and over / as if I might discern / the little fires set / the flames of an idea licking the page”

“Illumination,” Natasha Trethewey

Etymology of Denial | Poetry

Etymology of Denial | Poetry

Not, in fact, a river wedgedthrough Africa, but instead a hamletin Northwest Ohio. The mayor speaksGerman, as does the teacher, and the priestand the children, and even the Moroccanwho moved in the previous year. Alleyways do not exist in Denial: you’re either a...
The Happening | Poetry

The Happening | Poetry

My mother would drive us to the Laundromaton Saturday mornings. I’d sit in the backof her old green Volvobetween baskets of blue, yellow, and pink.She’d sing “Where Did Our Love Go”with Diana Ross and The Supremes on the radio.We’d park under the washed-out sign. This...
fire teaches best | Poetry

fire teaches best | Poetry

—a haibun after supper she sends us out to play in the yard & get our ya-yas out, one last hurrah of dirty bare feet & stinky little girl before bathtime, then storytime, then bedtime. Sissy & I had drippy popsicles & we ran to the farthest edge of the...
Suspect | Poetry

Suspect | Poetry

A TSA agent lifts your nursling from your arms. Flagged, he says. Just a baby, you say.   The white man behind you navy tie, slightly loosened who’d just been cooing at your little one— fiddles with the cuff of his starched shirt steps around you feeds his briefcase...
burn barrel | Poetry

burn barrel | Poetry

out country, a modified 55-gallon open head drum is good as a crematoria for burning clean & efficient— make sure to pick a spot downwind, without the secretive boughs & branches of trees draping down. double check for combustibles. remember you are...

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