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THREE POEMS by Leah Silvieus

/ / Issue 5, Poetry

            Jeju Do [1]

Stone flung to crater: we gather what we can of the dead, but they remember us in our entirety, filling our pockets with bones and pink rhododendron.

We pass the pavilion, toward the wooden skiff, its nets suspended in loam. You winnow through the ruin of porous shore, your hands murky with sea urchins, palms stung with their dying stars. The basalt gods gaze on, graved full of moon. They eclipse dark at dusk. They are not our gods.

You move among them, a constellation of absence threaded through the fractured lights

[1] Jeju Do is the name of an island located off the southeast coast of South Korea. Hallasan is the name of the volcanic mountain on the island.


            For (and after) J

At the edge of want, everything is cast
            into ebbed relief; not only each

waxed and gorgeous object,
                          but the distance between:

boar-shadow and bloodied quail, which is to say,
                          the negative space that desire is:

between what we want and what we are capable of,  
overripe peach as slow eclipse ::: lover

                          turning afield – praise be
hunger and fear, the brutal devotions
                                                    that will lean us out
praise be            to what this dark bounty
             would hallow us into



See what our bodies make
of each other, my seraph sung
from reed and seeding stalks;
my blue-mouthed beauty –
see what ellipses we
spin and snare, radiant
of limb and muddied wing.



Issue 5 Contents                                       NEXT: Two Poems by Gina Vaynshteyn