Poets

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Jenn Givhan

Jenn Givhan is the author of Rosa’s Einstein (University of Arizona Press, 2019). A National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, she lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

By This Poet

1

Of Color of Landscape of Tenuous Rope

i.           

I’ve pulled from my throat birdsong like tin-
sheeted lullaby [its vicious cold        its hoax of wings]
the rest of us forest folk       dark angels chafing rabbits-
foot for luck     thrum-necked     wear the face of
nothing       we’ve changed       the Zodiac & I
have refused a little planet little sum for struggle & sailed
ourselves summerlong & arbitrary as a moon grave
across a vastness        [we’ve left the child-
ren]      Named the place penni-
less motherhood      Named the place country
of mothers      Named the place anywhere but death by self-

ii.           

infliction is a god of many faces      many nothings     
I’m afraid I’ll never be whole     I’m afraid
the rope from the hardware store [screws for nails]
will teach itself to knot      I’ve looked up noose I’ve
learned to twine but these babies now
halfway pruned through the clean bathwater of childhood
I promised a god I would take to the ledge
& show the pinstripes the pinkening strobe-
lights maybe angels chiseled at creation
into the rock [around my neck] the rock in the river
I would never let them see        I would never let them

iii.

break & spend a whole life backing away from that slip—
Let us fly & believe [in the wreck] their perfect hope-
sealed bodies the only parachutes we need