Lace Curtain You Drape Over Every Mirror

By VALERIE DUFF

Keep that smile
barbed, the wire
the horse leans against.

Birds crack seeds
on the other side of your glass
door. The body, blind, curves

its hedge down paths.
Time’s narrow microscope.
A clump of cells, narrow threader

juking the ground,
reverberates.
They say it’s gone.

It’s gone.
Everyone’s hands
shifting you gently,

no knowing
not knowing (you know
that now),

their silent nods,
stonecutter precision,
your plea for the tool.

 

[Purchase Issue 18 here.]

 

Valerie Duff’s second book of poems will be published by Salmon Poetry in 2021. Her first book, To the New World, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Poetry Prize in 2011. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in The Common, POETRY, Salamander, The Boston Globe, PN Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is a contributing editor to The Critical Flame.

Lace Curtain You Drape Over Every Mirror

Related Posts

Image of a sunflower head

Translation: to and back

HALYNA KRUK
hand-picked grains they are, without any defect, / as once we were, poised, full of love // in the face of death, I am saying to you: / love me as if there will never be enough light / for us to find each other in this world // love me as long as we believe / that death turns a blind eye to us.

many empty bottles

June 2024 Poetry Feature: New Poems by Our Contributors

KATE GASKIN
We were at a long table, candles flickering in the breeze, / outside on the deck that overlooks the bay, which was black / and tinseled where moonlight fell on the wrinkled silk / of reflected stars shivering with the water.

Messy desk in an office

May 2024 Poetry Feature: Pissed-Off Ars Poetica Sonnet Crown

REBECCA FOUST
Fuck you, if I want to put a bomb in my poem / I’ll put a bomb there, & in the first line. / Granted, I might want a nice reverse neutron bomb / that kills only buildings while sparing our genome / but—unglue the whole status-quo thing, / the canon can-or-can’t do?