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Two Poems.




you think hands only touch hands when separated
but I’ve learned nothing in years past
only the ebbing

things seem farther the closer you get

and I only see three lone trees
stand on a little hill in the waste

a destination too often out of breath
but then—this is how far I feel from that city
where no language ever besieged me

I think I was an orchard before
hand over heels took what I had
to say on cadmium and color—
a flowering wax dawn my throat
eyes strained by dusk the world
has become mulberry and what
I contain, I am not sure.
It had to do with space—
broken into, you said (something foreign) in midair
and then it came and I was ready to see my shoulder
plates broad enough to grab bouvardia
even if full of lions taking off.

it’s not like i feel this because i’m not botanical
not like i’m talking sickles—dashes in the snow
cooked blinds through i see neighbor flip truck wheel so he tan
not that, not compass pointing other norths
no hard feelings whatsoever, not like i’m ranunculus
or anything to do with readiness or neediness, things
are what thermostats want, navigation mugs oh my
dreams are too peregrines—as in knock on my door
like halcon, as in not being what you seek
is pilgrimage.

29 de abril

meanwhile everything, if only
no lute my eyes: velocity: I,
but closed, secrets
teeter birds on my eyes:
already earth elsewhere
if only to wield
yellow ache soft as milk all along
all peach scale here—
choppy breakfast & above
to be less salmon-colored
unasked, and thereby luke
lumber keeps me from caring
too long you were boundary, chestnut chattering
clover clumps, coastline, dull decomposition;
a few almonds in the bowl you brambled
brittle, fed me sprouts aged al dente
you are, petty umami, a resin that dried plop.
That year no wildfire lasted offshore.

My Defenestrate

I’m tired of knows didn’t you know the right lane must turn right,
so to speak, things stay to say they’ve gone untitled eschatons in low
tide, to think I could reach you: disenchantment and digression
felt significant like one day this will feel like perhaps I am here
in the tense things have been living in, liberty over tax service stop
requested all of a sudden with blotches of what we saw wasn’t
but eulogy, so to speak, you arrive after hours of waiting in mud
looming, I’m tired didn’t you know I could see you from the back
so to speak, things’ve gone low tide, to think my body a lifeguard,
it is I, an optimizing ritual, let’s say I have a cradle inside, let’s say
bananas won’t ripen but something about how time is given
and it’s not pity I’m after.
You in the back your purple crew a sign of late lavanda,
every tendril dismal locking I’s, your eyes singular of leaving
bouquets of gravitas, I no longer want advice for i’ll-conceived
caves the problem of how to execute each patriarch—still life
with field of desire and still the pink hour has to do with how
not to inhabit the light, and I have no choice but to believe
like I want open fire—O my defenestrate, spikes that look like noise,
something captioned midair, I’m undressed in ground
I cannot find what should be entire, the virgule is what’s missing:
query combinations of hands purposefully grave
everywhere rotation of mud and melted days,
and then do I know the radicals, old linkings and magenta swords
I condone by its signifiers something ripped wobbly,
ill-landing death for fall is for falling prey of sudden lake-wind
which I have not seen yet believe like fata morgana, azalea anthem,
the selected interruptions of self-declared declaratives always hits me later,
my lateral redistribution of hunger, the what is poetics is never solace,
to think we could become microtrends and shrink to phone
cases ashore by windowsill sun and bikini-blue indigo exposure,
crippled by the cold ignition of stagnant shadows,
nails admitting growth, your sudden disappearance
the voyeuristic shame peeping through windows
useless your trace I lose like a dangling modifier
of modernity I am cold, I am the stretching of faraway tide
cómo decir contorno, my fingers extensions of what
reported speech is to say I lose you to gravitas—
gravitas como algo que nunca tuvo rumbo
mortaja, everyday I’m suggested the attire of cormorants
never some figurines, dormant, a water fountain in the center
a complicated wrapping of body into what we mean
by less is more, my cat’s voice pawing the evening
and daylight saying time just expired inside the fridge,
O did I know something spreading about silence
why would anything here be hue-absence, aloof diacritics,
circumflex garders concealing O but what is it that you presupposes
if not an I and the failure of tensing time parabolic
stalactites a frozen skill of time, dripping consciousness in two acts
everything’s ignitable and I’ve never gotten over
anybody a body of water, I’m trapped in memory
finding akimbo spaces, san number, my skin deployed
all nuance, when things are no longer a consolation.

MORIANA DELGADO’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Hobart, Esta País, and Poetry Review, among other journals. She is the recipient of the 2023 Michael Anania Prize for Poetry at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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