Poems of the Week



Falling from a Bridge

I woke after a night in the lightning chamber

feeling incredible. There was so much to do. It’s

crunch time, I thought, as I walked to the kitchen

for a bowl of cereal. I wanted to grow my

eyelashes really long. I was going to sew my hand

back on. I wanted to have an adventure. I

phoned Giancarlo and invited him over. He

walked into the kitchen with blueprints of Holy

Resurrection, proposing we set it on fire. I’d

prefer to fall from the perfect bridge, I said. We

made a list of all the bridges in the city. We chose

the bridge on Avenida cruz del sur for its design

and historical relevance. As we left, we found a

tiny duckling dead in a puddle of water on the

sidewalk in front of my house. It looked like a

painful death. It made the idea of falling from a

bridge seem stupid. What did we expect, anyway?

We were somewhere outside Bucharest in the

1970’s or 1980’s.



When I was born, the woman ahead

of me had a lovely Om and it was

an Apostle. White children sang around

me and I sang Edelweiss, Nothing but

the Blood and come cookie stick.

Quid multa ne multa multa

nox. In my church, I petted

my spine. I was furry

and luxuriant. Grass growing

nearer. I stood among my own conifers

and when no one was

looking I played every character

in the Nativity. I liked it

best when I was Mary freezing

at night. I kissed the top of

my dollbaby’s head and stayed

in my sheets while cars peeled in

fleur de lis around me. My church

was tall and level-headed.

My church memorized

scripture and made peachy

fingernails and emotional

outbursts in school.



Deranged pack ice, murderous
isotopes released in meltwater,
a black fluid force and its teeth,

ice-spined, ice-breakers
the insanity of water,

eddies, spun mouths,
a poisoned drain,
birth sluice, primal sink.


English Class

Hold me cheap
she says. How to explain
when words hide unborn
inside the fruit.

Once I saw a cherry tree
bloom. In a botanical garden
children tumbled downhill
on the lawn. It was
so imperfect.
Reshuffling her hands,

it’s the way people look at her
as if she’s stupid
because her language does not
treat them well.
Cherry trees grow

in Washington. A gift of friendship
from Japan, 1912, claims the classroom text.
The spring festival
attracts thousands.

Those trees!
Draped in pale letters.

How to understand
transaction, offering.
Hands covering face.


all from Denver Quarterly 46.2 (2012), Ed. Bin Ramke

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