Shira Dentz










If youíre going to keep criticizing the beginning,
nothing will follow:

how like an eye
an oval tooth in the background

whatís in there?
platelets; dry blood left on pillows, the taint a tint of speech.

but getting to the background
in the dark are there kind letters and if so which are they
flotsam and so forth before and after hot and juicy
stir the sheen of a closed eyelid
quick, cover your ears††††††† after death letters loose shed like leaves hence autumnal
they taste† of earth, ferment††† firmament a sac with rice-paper skin like around testicles

herring, a slave to scripture. count my way out. which word is the exit door?
if. sorry. pulse like foreign earthenware. what do you think grows in this soil?
careless thoughts root. routes


now letís cut back to you. the plethora of images i am putting together to house you.
like the details of dinner i leave out uncovered while i do something else...
what freedom††† to delay, postpone

but when i eat itís solid thing, like a right word

all this and about beauty. what do we have eyes for? i can shut them and make love,
make believe. pictures take your voice splice give you prompts, and itís how you dance

i have a fountain of desire and i draw letters like light resting on a body water
before drowning



He told me to write the sun sags like a breast in the sky.
Impressions of him multiply like pennies.
I wanted to hear from death; my ears tuned sharp to detect language, that is, time, in everything.

Remembrance is mourning. Over and over the loved one, to memory.
An intense beam of sunlight that doesnít stay very long in the same spot, but hovers.
You think the dust particles are the particulars of air; snorkeling comes to mind.

You try not to look at your hands, the age in them. Similarly, you avert the image of your body as you see it sometimesóhideous, not the way you dreamed it. And what about the other dreams? Do feelings in older people change like their bodies; soft, past crisp, colored leaves scattered all over the drive?

His voice particular, the inside of a menorah. Silver and warm at the same time.

The world shattering like teacups. quiver.

Silent moss and fingers of light. purple moonlight in thin air recalcitrant take a few steps back, sharp now. What meets the eye meets a feather.

Retrace, sift, for something previously unfound.
On the other hand, I donít want to hear any stories.
My life scattered in a pool; and that is a cliche, and yes, I wanted to read the circles in the water as they foretell the future, like handlines: o ye, speak to me speak to me

Numbness like a cloud. condensed water.

Bio: Shira Dentz’s poems have appeared and/or are forthcoming in various journals and anthologies including FIELD, Seneca Review, Chelsea, American Letters & Commentary, Salt Hill Journal, Barrow Street, The Journal, and Facture. She received the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem Award in 2002, and was the finalist for PSA’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award in 2001. She has had poetry air on National Public Radio, and recently her manuscript was a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award. She is a writer, graphic artist and copy editor living in Brooklyn, New York.

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