Poetry Summer/Fall 2021 Issue 19

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Sweet Blue

On this tepid day
while the COVID clock ticks past
one-hundred-eighty-thousand casualties
we are digging shallow holes
into a Vermont hillside to lay down a line
of low-bush blueberries [. . .]

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childhood dogs

no one can remember who
bought this mug, or if it belonged
to a larger set, which got lost along
some move or broken in some forgotten
box—maybe in the basement or the attic? [. . .]

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hospitable / nebula / night shift

I meet a girl who is an alien for Halloween, which is the secret queer costume of the decade; she wears it in green sparkles and two antennae launching from her hair. I am trying to tell if she is straight, and also, to be sexy, so I ask,
what is your favorite emoji? . . .

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I found a stack of letters you wrote to me from Bethlehem / Some people recognize physical acts of courage

I get home and my kids ask me to explain simple things: Why don’t humans lay eggs? Will it ever snow? Do people stop loving you because you’re far away? They’ve taped a sheet of paper to the wall, to keep a tally of all the mosquitos they killed since we arrived. . .

Transplant

There he was carrying a tray of bygone at a San Francisco Hilton. Surrogate for husband #1. Food services manager, not engineer. . .