For My Parents

By ELIZABETH METZGER

 

Make the house leaves. Make the windows impenetrable. 
I will climb from underground with my dry bark heart
still pulsing for you

the old rhythm of dead humans once painted
just as freshly not breathing as my first day
outside paradise.

If I could thank you still
it would be for your obliviousness.
I got to keep the child you wanted.

What are needs when there are orange leaves exploding
from the roof. Here from the top of the earth
no fire would be built to make me forgiving. We would

never have to stand upright again. Four feet. Four hands. 
Bellies hanging with branches. 
Make the love that never had room for me

then stay alive 
the remote between you blinking.

Elizabeth Metzger is the author of The Spirit Papers, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. Her second collection, Lying In, will be published in 2023 by Milkweed Editions. She is a poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

[Purchase Issue 24 here.]

For My Parents

Related Posts

Book Cover of Meet Us by the Roaring Sea by Akil Kumarasamy. Abstract drawings on black background.

Friday Reads: December 2022

SOFIA BELIMOVA
Last month, we launched Issue 24, which features wispy, ethereal poems, striking watercolors of the Stebbins Cold Canyon flora and fauna, stories about resilience in the face of war and natural disaster, and essays that celebrate humor and heritage. Wondering what our contributors are reading to keep themselves inspired? Look no further than this month’s Friday Reads.

Washington Heights

November 2022 Poetry Feature: Anacaona Rocio Milagro

ANACAONA ROCIO MILAGRO
Because there weren’t any fireflies in the hood / as a child i imagined roaches were angels on a / mission. To save lives, they’d crawl into the mouths / of the chosen. Initially i found them disgusting. / They’d infest my Fruity Pebbles cereal. i’d pluck / them out

Coconut and Bananas

ROMANA CAPEK-HABEKOVIC
A couple of days ago my husband returned from the grocery store with a pound of bananas and a small coconut. The bananas were perfectly ripe for consumption, and I put them in a fruit basket.