Yosefa Raz

Single Girl, Married Girl

I think here’s it’s the highest per capita in dogs in the world.

Get out of here old man you don’t own it.

Guru in the video says, so, so.

I would co-sign that.

The summer forgives you into October.

So, so.

The burning sensation spreads: stomach to chest to shoulders.

I feel the reverberations.

Hell no heil no I pay back the universe.

Princess Margaret and her “plumbs.”

God so excited first rain “mangold” sounds like marigold,

a kind of rough spinach—

my capacity for creating—no, coat-wearing

Send out the bat-signal, everything is later than expected.

Someone brought us a cheesecake

if we could find someone live to read to us

maybe yes we could go in that direction.

To know that this is a person on the edge

sits on the porch in a white lace dress

rejoin the human race with its deaths and births

the cat basking in the sun at the entrance to the non-descript office.

Bird songs here are wonderful despite the drilling.

I longed for him like a sexual fantasy it built and built and then it was over

inner outer secret most secret

she used to praise my purple skirts back when I was figuring psalms.

This is lovely but it numbs instead of making us lithe and alive

Skirts are reversible, sun bathes me boil your head

chant a little, the wind disturbed

the leaves created what you could call a vendetta.

A poem became a pigeon, became a brick always

its morning in the burned house always

a way to start the day,

the attempt to see the world and all its gifts:

rubber tree pressing in against the window,

voices underneath the window,

he did put salt on her guitar,

more flies than mosquitoes now, four floors at least.

The people in the dream keep pointing at my face.

Single girl, single girl she’s going dressed up so fine,

married girl, married girl

wears any kind.

Hello, are you registered.

Certain well picked objects a scent diffuser to “plumb”

is to go down into the depths as the place

where I call to you

Berlin Collage #2

A key baked into an indigestible loaf of bread

then I threw it up all night and all day

the waves of nausea like sea sickness,

not pregnancy, or something had got lodged in me,

someone else’s envy.

Meanwhile a fruit basket arrived instead of everything I wanted.

This neighborhood was named by Huguenot refugees for Moab,

because they could not enter Canaan.

Set of stairs like long breaths.

Occasional flowerboxes. It rained all afternoon.

Cut off her finger when she died.

The hammer was painted over with a sword, perhaps in the eighteenth century,

or in a borrowed house a photo of an Irish mother kneels down to speak to her children.

Cups can hold or they can curse like the cup of sorrows

turned up later after the unfortunate Russian coronation

in Holland I think some enterprising businessman was selling them

repainting for Dutch or Flemish royalty

so you can change your destiny.

Pop-up pink coffee cups the color of diaphragms

may have had one in a dream? Don’t think I ever used one

in reality though it’s been a long life so far.

The city is wide and empty you swim in a tub of corrugated iron.

A sensation of swimming in sweet water it’s too heavy.

Shepherd’s Purse achingly long

will taste like pig’s food if you cook it too long,

sad song of the wife before the husband leaves her and takes another bride

don’t break your mother’s heart

eventually entailed a move out of the city,

a search for specks of other color among the green.

Yosefa Raz is a poet, translator, and scholar. Her work has recently appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, Entropy, Elderly, Guernica, Protocols, and Ayin Press, and has been translated into Hebrew and Czech. She is a lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Haifa.