FOUR POEMS, FOUR POETS
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,
the insanity of water,
eddies, spun mouths,
a poisoned drain,
birth sluice, primal sink.
KATHLEEN MARTIN ROWE
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
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
Draped in pale letters.
How to understand
Hands covering face.
all from Denver Quarterly 46.2 (2012), Ed. Bin Ramke