Home > Poetry > A Small Metamorphosis or The Power of Seeing
Published: Sun Oct 15 2017
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
A Small Metamorphosis or The Power of Seeing

I am a pat of pearl-colored flamingos
_             _ I am a towel fading by the bathroom sink
I am a set of new bed sheets _    _ not yet washed
_             _ I am the broken swing set near collapsed
I am crabapple buds swollen on a February tree
_             _ I am a knob of roots waiting_    _ for someone to pull
I am a stamp collection in a case
_             _ I am lost_    _ letters unsent & yellowed
I am snakeskin_    _ dried_    _ under a microscope
_             _ I am bundled sage meant to burn for cleansing
I am the doll painted as candy skull
_             _ I am two lanterns_    _ one broken_    _ & the night watch long—

Two lanterns against the long night
_             _ I am the doll my mother caressed as she lay dying
I am bundled sage_    _ a gift_    _ a prayer
_             _ I am dried snakeskin_    _ remnants of the past
I am lost but found_    _ grace in every bruised crevice
_             _ I am a collection of horses in the field
I am a knob on a door to a celestine attic
_             _ I am apple blossoms against the bluest sky
I am broken_    _ wounds filling with gold
_             _ I am a bed sheet’s pleated shine nightjars of desire
I am a towel_    _ wet with dewdrop
_             _ I am pearl & flamingo_    _ the sweetest light

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Alicia Elkort edited and contributed to the chapbook Creekside, published by Berkeley Poetry Review, where she also served as an editor. Her poetry was featured in the Ishaan Literary Review and has been published in, among other journals, Elsewhere Lit, Menacing Hedge, AGNI, Stirring, and Rogue Agent. She works as an accountant for film and television and is currently producing a documentary on global traditions of prayer. (updated 10/2017)

Jenn Givhan, a Mexican-American writer and activist from the Southwestern desert, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Rosa’s Einstein (Camino Del Sol Poetry Series, 2019), two chapbooks, and two novels: Trinity Sight and Jubilee, both forthcoming from Blackstone Press. Her poems have appeared in The Best of the Net, The Best New Poets, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, AGNI, The New Republic, and Kenyon Review. She has received, among other honors, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices fellowship, and New Ohio Review’s Poetry Prize, chosen by Tyehimba Jess. (updated 10/2019)

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