calypso

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Calypso in Paris
Megan Fernandes

It is a hideous November—

even your
indifference

takes a blue form.

You are for the new world,
tomorrow.

I, for America, today.

Your apartment is cold
and I search your kitchen

for napkins

as you bite into
a late night animal.

You wake

to tell me
about a dream

of us eating out

someone
together.

I want to ask

but don’t.
I have given myself

seven hours of flight

to bring
my halves back

as one—

though the body is a dull metaphor,
won’t quite line up.

Part of me

has already
departed,

the other, sits

motionless,
blows ash off the windowsill

and small curls

of burning paper
descend,

doomed
for the fruit stands below.

It is a hideous November—

birds glide down the canal,
strings

of city wires

slope like hills, fluid
and tapered

by wind.

 

with one glance

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With One Glance
Charles Simic

That mirror understood everything about me
As I raised the razor to my face.
Oh, dear God!
What a pair of eyes it had!
The eyes that said to me:
Everything outside this moment is a lie.
*
As I looked out of the window today
At some trees in the yard,
A voice in my head whispered:
Aren’t they something?
Not one leaf among them stirring
In the heat of the afternoon.
Not one bird daring to peep
And make the hand of the clock move again.
*
Or how about the time when the stormTore down the power lines on our streetAnd I lit a match and caught a glimpseOf my face in the dark windowpane


With my mouth fallen open in surprise
At the sight of one tooth in front
Waiting like a butcher in his white apron
For a customer to walk through his door.
*
It made me think of the way a hand
About to fall asleep reaches out blindly
And suddenly closes over a fly,
And remains tightly closed,
Listening for a buzz in the room,
Then to the silence inside the fist
As if it held in it an undertaker
Taking a nap inside a new coffin.

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

not from this anger

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Not From This Anger
Dylan Thomas

Not from this anger, anticlimax after
Refusal struck her loin and the lame flower
Bent like a beast to lap the singular floods
In a land strapped by hunger
Shall she receive a bellyful of weeds
And bear those tendril hands I touch across
The agonized, two seas.
Behind my head a square of sky sags over
The circular smile tossed from lover to lover
And the golden ball spins out of the skies;
Not from this anger after
Refusal struck like a bell under water
Shall her smile breed that mouth, behind the mirror,
That burns along my eyes.
 

a dusk

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A Dusk (from Stones of the Field)
Christian Wiman
How slowly the mountain
takes it in,
like a diagnosis
of darkness.

The consolation
of a continuation
that has nothing to do
with you.

Photo by Daniel Leone on Unsplash

what came before

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What Came Before
Todd Davis
The warmth of a blood-filled sky.
A westerly wind. Half-moon, smooth
as melon rind, floating above
father’s head. A boatyard
with a sea beyond. My sister,
who worked for a shipwright,
lathering varnish onto a keel.
A pod of dolphins surfacing
beyond the harbor’s mouth.
And a fig tree with ripe figs falling,
seeds mashed beneath
grandmother’s bare feet,
her way of planting
a memory that would leaf
in my tenth summer,
years after her death,
when I peeled the fruit’s skin
with my teeth, tasted
part of her flesh.

Photo by Amber Engle on Unsplash

dawn

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Dawn
Octavio Paz

Cold rapid hands
draw back one by one
the bandages of dark
I open my eyes
still
I am living
at the center
of a wound still fresh

Original

Madrugada

Screen Shot 2020-07-24 at 10.45.59

Photo by Lina Verovaya on Unsplash

what music

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What Music
Joy Harjo

…I would have loved you then, in
the hot, moist tropics of your young womanhood.
Then
…  …the stars were out and fat every night.
They remembered your name
………………………………………and called to you
as you bent down in the doorway of the whiteman’s houses.
You savored each story they told you,
and remembered
………………………the way the stars entered your blood
………………………………………………………………………..at birth.
Maybe it was the Christians’ language
…………………………………………………that captured you,
or the bones that cracked in your heart each time
you missed the aboriginal music that you were.
But then,
………….you were the survivor of the births
of your two sons. The oldest one hates you, and the other
wants to marry you. Now they live in another language
in Los Angeles
………………….with their wives.
And you,
…………..the stars return every night to call you back.
They have followed your escape
…………………from the southern hemisphere
………………………………………………………..into the north.
Their voices echo out from your blood and you drink
the Christians’ brandy and fall back into
………doorways in an odd moonlight.
…………………………………………You sweat in the winter in the north,
and you are afraid,
………………………  sweetheart.

Photo by Philip Schroeder on Unsplash