Home > Poetry > Vendaval
Published: Wed Apr 15 1998
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

The brown hen is blown
toward the chopping block
and the red-handled ax.

The sea is rubbed bare in spots,
the sky El Greco blue
between the forking clouds.

The only gods are seasonal:
the holding back, the giving in,
the mistimed caress

against, not with, desire.
The wind dies as abruptly
as it started yesterday.

The day’s late light
falls on us, unequally—it
makes a new map

of the blue bedspread,
luring disappointment
from our eyes and mouths,

letting us begin again.

See what's inside AGNI 47

Jennifer Barber is the author of the poetry collections Given Away (Kore 2012), Rigging the Wind (Kore 2003), and Vendaval in Take Three: 3 (Graywolf, AGNI New Poets Series, 1998). She is the founding and current editor of the literary journal Salamander, which celebrated its twentieth year in 2012. She teaches literature and creative writing at Suffolk University in Boston. (updated 7/2013)

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