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Two Poems


Julia Hungry

She reconstructs her ruptured orange peel
while telling me about the fancy meal
(such slick glass noodles, she could slip them down
without the use of teeth, and bloodless beets
no longer than a tea-fork’s tine; pellucid
silver wine; a piece of uncooked fish
in lemon sauce, so spare and colorless
it was completely imperceptible
against the platter’s ghostly porcelain,
and on her tongue it melted clear away—
she swallowed nothing). Pressed between her palms,
the bitter peel is seamless as shellac.
It’s empty and the orange won’t come back.

Peony

It’s come unlatched, the sloppy silk fist
unhinging like a jaw as if
to swallow something bigger than itself—

it’s come to this: the cleft
shavings of truculent flesh,
this precipice, this breath

exhaled three-quarters-of-the-way
then held—an exoskeletal shadow-play,
a suspended study in delay,

like an empty house
relaxing into anonymity,
like a woman who’s unbuttoned her blouse

but wears it still, her nudity
a possible impossibility—


Hannah Louise Poston

The Yale Review

April 2018


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