If only we were kangaroos. Expelled from the womb
to hop in a pouch
and hide in its dense darkness.
There we would listen to the shush-shush heartbeat
of a distant mother
until the sun breaks through.
Vespers (Sapphic stanzas)
There is no such thing as unconditional
love, my father says, so I do not believe
in it either, quailing under anger like
bricks about to plummet.
Eyes closed, turn your face to the water beating
over your back, counting vertebra, coating
skin, warm lapping tongue making your boundaries
Last light fading. Listen to birds sing down day,
croon the bruised sky better, as late rays finger
windows, and dusty residue is lit in
Finds of the Day
Let me declare the gatherings of the day:
Sunlight pouring through the curtains; pink cap
on an ink bottle; walking down cracked gray
paths; daisies in bloom; bitter coffee; scraps
of memory: fried zucchini flowers,
Roman artichokes shaped like roses.
The waiting peace of the in-between hours
not-morning, not-noon, when the orange tree glows.
Phone arguments about money and halls
stale guilt; and what can’t be undone. Troubled
buzz. Hints of loss. Empty park, shadowed walls,
a swarm of ants with wings like soap bubbles.
My footfall beats, How do you make a poem?
Always, everywhere, they happen on their own.
About the Author:
Batnadiv HaKarmi is an American-born writer and painter living in Jerusalem. A graduate of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University, her work has been published in Poet Lore, Ilanot Review, Poetry International, MomEgg Review and Partial Answers. She is the recipient of the Andrea Moria Prize for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction.