Four Poems by Arden Levine

yellow train Photo by Martin Péchy on

[In Paris:]

A widow handled volatile
matter in various states with
her married lover, suffered
from exposure to toxicity.

As they discovered and
were discovered, Le Journal
wrote of the fires of radium
which beam, which burn.

[In Philadelphia:]

A woman still
works at Poe’s house, tending
to artifacts and ghosts.

The winter the pipes cracked
a black fly was her only visitor.

She was not surprised when he
revealed himself: the deceased
always return in his stories.

Winged and wary, he could hear
the voices between the walls

and within them, confirm
the beloved dead
safe in her

[In Berlin:]

A girl ran so hard, right out of the old Gemeinschaft.
U.S. soldiers liberated her
with Converse sneakers. She got
Levi’s blue jeans, too, and wise
to how fast a girl can go

when the fabric wraps around both legs.
She ran so hard that she ran to America, so fast
that the consonants fell
out of her mouth, so she picked up
the ones she could reach and put them back

in new / other places. She got real
mouthy and handy, got all sorts
of paper and tenure, drove the Capitol Beltway
in a Ford, stopped running, stopped
walking, halt.

[In Santa Fe:]

A woman has a cabinet that contains an anatomy.
Included here:

Tiny bones,
micro-mementos mori, e.g.,
the radius that radiated light fingers.

The paintbrush,
and the palette on which
this brush-tongue clicked.

The paints, the skin of
unblended and unblemished
blue and blue.

Arden Levine‘s poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Cream City Review, SWWIM, Rogue Agent, Zone 3, and the anthology Dead of Winter (Milk & Cake Press). Her chapbook, Ladies’ Abecedary, will be published by Harbor Editions in summer 2021.

Appears In

Issue 13

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