Survivor

By JACQUELYN POPE 
Whatever possessed you
pursues me. Whatever
unnerved you sings me
to sleep, repeats and repeats,
insists. Whatever composed
you constricts me. Where
you were bright I was blind.
Whatever you saved
I’ve squandered. Where you
were soft I was scabbed.
Whatever consoled you
confuses me, retreats
and retreats, insists.
Whatever the heart wills,
hands divide. Wherever
the bough breaks, the baby
follows, cradled for a fall.

 

Jacquelyn Pope is the author of Watermark. Hungerpots, her translations of the Dutch poet Hester Knibbe, is forthcoming. She is the recipient of a 2015 NEA Translation Fellowship, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant, and awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Survivor

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