Selected Poems – Stephanie Glazier

At 30

 

my entomologist friend,

forgive me

despite your warnings I ate the cherries
all of them
unwashed.

How, say,

opening a door, after the baby switch
in your body has gone off—how your hand
reaches for something, already taking its shape?

I asked my host for a Bible—

She leaves the room, comes back with a black book. This? she says.

(Remember how, at the end of something
you begin again and take your past with you.
How you can’t escape that.

It’s not like, in the story your teacher told you
of the museum in Prague, closed for historical revisions.

It’s not like that. However you wish it
history will not be different.)

 

Fevered, Tongue-tied, I Want for Broth

and settle for wine.

 
 
 

my mother is famed to have pushed

the car back up hill—

 

such was her love
for my brother, her son

who was sleeping in his little seat.

She saw the Nova slowly descending
from behind a window pane—

an animal response really, as she tells the story.

---

I got out of bed one night,
to stand next to her at the sink
to tell her how her father

put his fingers into me.
How they burned.

I’ll hear forever her ring clinking
against the plate as she turned
it over in the water—

she wore a loose pink sweater
and smelled like my mother

though her eyes kept to the plate
the water coming down in sheets on its face.

 
 
 

this is how one floats, on the back, hijo—

with thanks to Joe Jiménez

 

The body, when almost expired, swells and its color comes closer to that of common fish, sometimes blue, sometimes green, sometimes both, and iridescent.

On airplanes, just before takeoff the light raking its way through the windows and down the plastic interior, convince yourself there's a family having dinner just outside. Don't trouble that the family's never there when the plane turns to taxi.

 

And this is how one floats—eyes to the watching sky. It's the air son, that makes your body rise up against the weight of the water.

Are you listening mijo—the Jews know no one's coming.
They're interested in the food and the light: it's pleasure you're after.
Keep the lungs as full as they'll stretch.

 
 
 
Stephanie Glazier's poems and critical prose have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Iraq Literary Review, The Fourth River, and others. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

 
 

Categories: Poetry