To have a blind spot
there must be
a surrounding clarity.
Being a mother
brings me the world
I have already
blindly traveled.
Now being home
is a kind of homesickness
and the old chairs
look like relics
from a fire. Children
clear rooms
and open windows
as if they had been leading you
this whole time,
from life to life.

Erica Ehrenberg‘s work has appeared in journals and anthologies including The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, BOMB Magazine, and The New Republic. She is currently training to become a psychoanalyst.

[Purchase Issue 25 here.]


Related Posts

Cover of Happy Stories, Mostly

Welcome to the Department of Unanswered Prayers

Welcome to the Department of Unanswered Prayers! Here’s your ID. When it’s time to go home, put your badge in your bag and leave the bag in your car. Rather than tossing it in some drawer, I mean, or chucking it somewhere inside your room. Don’t worry. No one will steal it.

an image of a woman among old artifacts. the woman's back is to the photographer and she is facing the open door


There are no streetlights between the old slaughterhouse and the edge of town. The road that links them feels longer than its few hundred barren meters, proceeding above a rocky slope that ends in channel water—the former landing place of blood and entrails, arriving by chute while dogfish gathered.

Cover of Mona Kareem's I Will Not Fold These Maps, orange cover with white writing.

Review of “I Will Not Fold These Maps”

My first encounter with Mona Kareem’s work was not her poetry, but her essay in Poetry Birmingham on the trend of Western poets “translating” from languages they are not literate in. Kareem brings attention to what she calls the “colonial phenomenon of rendition as translation,” in which a poet effectively workshops a rough translation done by a native speaker or someone who is otherwise literate in the original language. Often, this is the only way acclaimed writers reach Western audiences.