Two Poems

Lucille Clifton
a woman precedes me up the long rope, her dangling braids the color of rain. maybe i should have had braids. maybe i should have kept the body i started,
from the book The Book of Light / Copper Canyon

What Sparks Poetry is a serialized feature in which we invite poets to explore experiences and ideas that spark new poems.

In our occasional series, Building Community, we spotlight connections between our work on the page and our work in the community. In each issue, we pair a poem from our featured poet with an interview that explores what poetry brings to our neighborhoods, cities, and the wider world — and what community makes possible for poetry itself.

Kerry Folan on What Keeps Us:</br> A Community Poetry Reading in Response to Violence
Photo: Kerry Folan
Maria Laina (translated from the Greek by Karen Van Dyck)
While whole phrases pass by and she accepts them and she constantly faces great danger still the body she remembered but there was something she had never seen.
Cynthia Dewi Oka
I wake up these days, a new mother again, watching, waiting, to understand what to offer, how to serve, by which I mean, organize my body around what cannot be spoken.
C.D. Wright
We love in silence We keep our poetry locked in a glass cabinet Some nights We stay up passing it back and forth between us drinking deep
Joe Hall
Accuracy without ambition is all I can ask for from a poem.
Nora Hikari
Did you know tears are sieved blood? Spit, too. We are just one leaky vessel trying to keep everything in. Keep trying.

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