Poems of the Week

21 Jul

FIVE POEMS, FIVE POETS

RAE ARMANTROUT

The Program

1.

For starters,
there was twitch

or “shimmer,”

a resounding
“Let me out of here!”
which still echoes.

This made for “one
another,”

and for binding
one another
into orbits.

2.

We walk through,
turning

a haze of predilections
into facts:

purses, hats.

We mention
“the inevitable.”

Everyone
identifies with the
serial killer.

NOELLE KOCOT

A Day Without a Date

The foggy entrances, the stone-
Cold awakenings, the sea is shiny
And green. We had a contract
In the other world, shiny green
And blue, now it’s solitaire
And another memory and another.
What a child you were, with a fondness
For the truth, the sunflowers,
The daisies, the skein of yarn
At the cat’s feet, the background
Pulling at you, red and black.
Now I wander around like a derelict
In a dirty parka, you you you
Around my neck, on my finger,
Inside me, always inside me.
To say I love you is to say
That the wind loves the rock
And the sea reveals itself timelessly,
And that I am very very tired
But not asleep, love, I am not asleep.

MOLLY BRODAK

Les Blessures Graves

My blood type is:
paper white,
a trill warble,
a new leaf.
The nurse
cuts my clothes off.

Enfin, my arms:
swing unhinged,
go soft like peaches,
can’t hold a needle.
You won’t be
expected:

to remember, or
to sign here.
The nurse can catch
those gauzy cottonwood
seeds for you—don’t move so.
She asks:
what shall I wish?

ERIN MALONE

Mouth

He sang orchid &
it opened
yellow lion-headed

dare

I warned him but
he laughed
what teeth

put his fingertip
just

there

EMILY PÉREZ

Wheat Field with Crows
(after Van Gogh)

The crows swim
in dense brushstrokes of sky.

Waves flatten them
to dark facsimiles of waves.

They rest on, are pressed on, arcs
whose shapes their bodies take.

Their metal cools in a mold
that will not crack.

Below them, wheat breaks
toward a different shore. It sways,

snakes upward, but is held down.
The thickness persists.

A path creeps deep
into the wheat, then drowns.

*

all from The Laurel Review 41.1 (2007), Eds. Rebecca Aronson and John Gallaher

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