Monday’s Verse 5/2/2016

Dear readers,

Many thanks to our able founding member Sara for her thoughtful, celebratory entry last week. I think she’s got the makings, somewhere inside her, of a good, politically-charged ghazal with -ian word endings, what do you think? Too pedestrian?

It’s not the first day of spring, and it’s no longer national poetry month, but here’s a poem written by Erika Sanchez (i.e., snack hazer) in honor of both. She’s a younger poet, whose first book of poems will be coming out next year. She has been the recipient of a Ruth Lilly fellowship, and appears to be a Chicago native. She also writes nonfiction, and has been published in popular press like Rolling Stone, Salon, and Cosmo.

If you have ever been a runner, you may appreciate her short, breathing rhythm in this piece, as well as her sense that the body "is its own crumbling country." I ran (oh yeah, it’s most definitely intended) across this poem on the ESPN website, of all places. Enjoy! -ed.


When I am a stranger to my own
ruin, twilight reminds me
to give alms to my best sins.
March: the city is purging
in the humility of worms, salt
washing from the grasses.
When I breathe in, I say thank you.
When I breathe out, I say gone,
I say garden, I say guns.
Three crows devour the dead
rat. Look at all that booty,
the man mutters and blows
me kisses. The sky is worthless
and my bulbous ass is always
a dinner bell. I run farther,
I run with a feather inside

my ear, I run from a bird
with a broken neck and follow
the sound of thawing snow.
Aren’t we all boundless
though? The way a dream
secretes the morning after,
the way moths feed on the eyes
of fawn. Two and not two–
vines that strangle trees never
say they’re sorry. I reach
the lake with this grateful
ache in my throat. If I say
my body is its own crumbling
country, if I say I am always
my own home–then
what does that make me?


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