Because I'm feeling overwhelmed today, and because I love their work, poems by two exceptional contemporary poets, Thylias Moss (1954-) and the Nancy Morejón (1940-).
by Thylias Moss
My husband gives up and goes to bed without
me, leaving the windows, the only paintings we
hung, to myself. At night, I look out and see
endlessness that makes me crave the finitude that
really is mine. The best boxers train by punching
through plate glass.
My husband is graying at the temples, turning into
concrete, giving me a more solid foundation for
worship. At St. Paul's, the cracked walls testify
that a growing holiness is splitting the seams.
The lone dollar in the collection plate lacks a means
to amplify its testimony.
Men walk down the boulevard carrying sides of beef.
No one is without an escort. The tiems do not permit
private ventures. The roadway's after-rainfall sheen
says slick operation, scam, hustle. Only snakes
have tongues as long as this road. The sole of a big
The bus stop is a metal lollipop. Accepting
this candy from an estranged city is wrong.
Just in time the bus comes, a metal loaf, and
not the chariot. The night is a great map, takes
you to any dark place you want to go.
Copyright (c) 2005, Thylias Moss, all rights reserved.
by Nancy Morejón
Cold penetrates our feet
and the rose’s urgency
moves us, being born.
We are in a large dam
and the papers of the universe
whirl before those
flame tree leaves
that shade us in summer.
Lovers, struck by sun,
to the floor of a boat,
breathing with valves
moistened by sea wind
from the South.
A timid breeze appears
and our ear, it laughs for eternity.
Copyright (c) 2005, by Nancy Morejón, all rights reserved.
Translated by Kathleen Weaver.