And Then It Rains

By KAREN CHASE

See the trace of someone’s hand
in the shorn branches, the tangle
of trees past the flat lawn.

The composed yard—
fence, wall, dark shape
of cypress, vanishing elm form.
All the ways we shape and carve—
yards, religion, plans,
sonnets, villanelles,
seasons, days of the week,
times for meals, windows,
doors, frames—all
built and named things—
streets, numbers, cities.
Run, I say, to the jungly
woods, take in the animated
dirt, eat with your hands. Later on,
go home, lunch at noon, switch
direction, mow the lawn. Along, then,
comes the wild rainy world, call it beauty,
wind corrupting the grassy yard.

 

[Purchase Issue 12 here.]

Karen Chase is the author of two collections of poems, Kazimierz Square and BEAR, as well as Jamali-Kamali, a book-length homoerotic poem which takes place in Mughal India. Her third book of prose, FDR on His Houseboat: The Larooco Log, 1924-1926, is forthcoming in 2016.

And Then It Rains

Related Posts

blackbird upon a puddle

Translation: Poetry by Esther Ramón

ESTHER RAMÓN
Two of those brief animals / that populated the branches / and the furniture made useless / by humidity and neglect. / They were separated / From time that burns as it passes, / from this insignificance, / from the feeding cycle, / my desires in the shredded remains

Mogadishu: a man holds an assault rifle while people walk by, with a crumbling building in the background

November 2021 Poetry Feature

ALDO AMPARÁN
Nights alone I tread / I drag the cloak // through the mud of the old  / municipal gardens / ancient heirloom my family’s ghosts // exhale / between its woven thread / of silk & cotton / some old // cousin too distant / to have known me // in his life speaks / broken Spanish...

hashem beck

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Wait

ZEINA HASHEM BECK
I take photos of the skin on my thigh, the side of my breast, / my arm, my calf, my belly, & send them to friends. See? / They reassure & recommend doctors. My mother suggests / baking soda mixed with oil or water, rosewater perhaps, perhaps / taking a cool bath.