TWILIGHT

Even poets must get real. Twilight, where we see the sun and the moon, doesn’t last an eternity: one is another reprieve; the other, the loss of all breath. One is dropping; the other flaunts its chill beauty. I could die for such beauty; I will have to go down, like the sun, for such […]

THE STEPS

In the pit of night, the unlit street is slow and silent. (I can hardly be said to be moving myself.) Still, I arrive home. The steps to my apartment are steep, but I am at the door. Where are my keys? I find them and open the door. Inside is more darkness, anxiety and […]

NEAR THE END

Losses are like additions to a house: the multiplication of space— a hoped-for extension of time. But all houses, now, burn or collapse, or drape the withering tree we tote in black attire, or drop songs of birds inside the fire inside the fire.

THE CANDIDATE

Out of the crack of the moon, a lizard slips, salmon-pink, brown-spotted, and is instantly devoured by my sainted cat. The walls, though upright, lie still; glasses touch, creating a ripple of sound, a touch of unease, the loss of an eye, the drop of the moon, a terrible song underneath the earth. We barely […]

IRAQ, IRAQ

Flood season, and the banks of the river become part of the river, taking with it a tangle of trees like spiderwebs. Occasionally a hand surfaces detached from an arm, or an arm split from a shoulder. The sky is the eye of a bat; the wind, the shriek of an owl. We lie in […]

THE FALL OF BIRDS IN WINTER

my stay at hospital It sounds, you know, a lot like Baby— that Arkansas town where the miracle arrived: three thousand red-winged blackbirds, dead, dropped from the sky, blind, in the dead of night: austere, the mystery of location, dislocation, sacrifice. How did this happen? What brought these rubied pilots, dressed in black, irresistibly to […]

NEDA

One hand, palm up, won’t recapture the other, her spilt blood pale as water. Eyes vanish like a line of Basij attack— eyes cold as glass against the storm. We still hear the echo of her voice (Neda, you know, is Farsi for voice), and we imagine its becoming a wind that will pity all […]