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From Joseph Fasano:

April 24, 2020

Once, the body says. Once
I knew a woman

whose madness took the shape of infinite music
filling her body

until nothing was left to her, and she became
water, fire, a palace where her ghosts could enter,

departing and hollowing her
at will. It was not grace,

exactly. And when
they left, for good, and left her

with nothing, she became
the same song that the world would have sung

without her.

St. Vitus’ Dance

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From Mary Ruefle:

April 21, 2020

Women who lie alone at midnight
obeying the laws of physics
Women who let their dreams curl at the end
Women in a monastery of flamingos

Women who die alone at midnight
contributing to the end, to
lost time, to the rain and flies,
seeing the bird they saw trapped in the airport
surviving by the water fountain

Women in Labor

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From Katie Condon:

April 18, 2020

The light

every shade of gold. Gold. I’m
greedy for it. Light is my currency.
I am big with dawn. So hot & so

pregnant with the fire I stole.
By pregnant I mean everything
you see is of me.

Big with Dawn

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From Danielle DeTiberus:

February 23, 2020

No, my Judith knows
to roll her sleeves up outside the tent. Clenches

a fistful of hair as anchor for what must be done.
Watch the blood arc its way to wrist and breast.
I have thought it all through, you see. The folds

of flesh gathered at each woman’s wrist, the shadows
on his left arm betraying the sword’s cold hilt.
To defeat a man, he must be removed from his body

by the candlelight he meant as seduction.

The Artist Signs Her Masterpiece, Immodestly

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From Joan Naviyuk Kane:

February 20, 2020

She could write about the year
she turned to heat and haze,

to laze: immurmurat-,
imauraaqtuŋa. Of cannula
and silver nitrate. Of petiolus

and achene, about to begin again.
Of greens as they green. Of a man

aged, eskered. Of a confined gleam—
to hereby dissolve and hold for naught

the soil / gravel / silt groaning
as the tools of our penultimate glacier,

a glacier I might pronounce like grief.

Nunataq

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From Heather McHugh:

February 17, 2020

For beauty’s sake, assault and drive and burn
the devil from the simply perfect sun.
Demand a birthmark on the skin of love,
a tremble in the touch, in come a cry,
and let the silverware of nights be flecked,
the moon pocked to distribute more or less
indwelling alloys of its dim and shine
by nip and tuck, by chance’s dance of laws.

In Praise of Pain

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From Helen Mesa:

February 14, 2020

Dream your hand plucks the bloom,
its widest petals like porcelain,
and a halo of bees skims your arms.
Upon waking, walk to the docks,
the bloom heavy behind your ear,
and breathe in its sweet persistence,
its scent of sea salt and gutted fish.

Legend

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From Yusef Komunyakaa:

February 11, 2020

But crawl out of your hide,
walk upright like a man,
& you may ask if hunger is the only passion
as you again lose yourself
in a white field’s point of view.

In this glacial quiet
nothing moves except—
then a flash of eyes & nerves.

Snow Tiger

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From Kenneth Rexroth:

February 8, 2020

Snow falls in the sunset.
We stand in the snowy twilight
And watch the moon rise in a breach of cloud.
Between the black pines lie narrow bands of moonlight,
Glimmering with floating snow.
An owl cries in the sifting darkness.
The moon has a sheen like a glacier.

Falling Leaves and Early Snow

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From Jonathan Endurance:

February 4, 2020

my mother never wanted me to know

i was born inside an eagle’s claws
i am saying every letter of my name

has a sharp edge & blood gushes from
everything i touch

i open my window into a field of dust
the sun chokes on my shoulder blade

i invade the boneyard with holy books

Aubade in the Boneyard

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