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From Izumi Shikibu:

August 14, 2018

Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.

“Although the wind …”, translated by Jane Hirshfield


From Claire Schwartz:

August 11, 2018

You cannot prosecute with a poem.
I thought your violence made me good. I thought
your desire made me beautiful though the signs
chirping wanted all had your face. Maybe you’ve named
me innocent after living so long in my mouth.
I, for one, always fall in love with the person holding
the pen.

Where I Eat

From Traci Brimhall:

August 6, 2018

A year ago, a lion

took our mother as she tended the fire.
This hunger bewilders me. We found half
of her bones and buried her

uneaten heart in a dead cub’s rib cage.
When we returned three days later
we saw no bones, no heart, only tracks

in the sand leading east. Ghost me. Fossil me.
Resurrect me near dawn. We’re always at the mercy
of one menacing grace, one rite, an art

that makes us suffer twice.

Become the Lion

From Ilya Kaminsky:

July 23, 2018

Tonight they shot fifty women at Lerna St.,
I sit down to write and tell you what I know:
a child learns the world by putting it in her mouth,
a girl becomes a woman and a woman, earth.
Body, they blame you for all things and they
seek in the body what does not live in the body.

Firing Squad

From Sylvia Plath:

July 21, 2018

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two—
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.


From June Jordan:

July 18, 2018

And if I
if I ever let you slide
who should be extirpated from my universe
who should be cauterized from earth

then let my body fail my soul
in its bedeviled lecheries

And if I
if I ever let love go
because the hatred and the whisperings
become a phantom dictate I o-
bey in lieu of impulse and realities

then let love freeze me
I must become
I must become a menace to my enemies.

I Must Become a Menace to My Enemies

From Lynn Melnick:

July 16, 2018

men tell me to be honest about my role in the incident:

Okay, yes
I should have stayed inside

while you railed from the sidewalk

but my confused heart got into the car.

What happened is
I once spent too much time in the desert

so pogonip seems glamorous hung stuck in the trees
like when blood dries on skin

and I want to wear it

out for an evening,
pat my hands over its kinky path down my face

Landscape with Written Statement

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