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Leah Umansky

Leah Umansky is the author of The Barbarous Century (Eyewear Publishing, 2018). She host and curates the Couplet Reading Series, and lives in New York City. 

By This Poet


Come, Pioneer


What forest is there to run to,
other than the one within another’s heart?

What appears to be deeply rooted 
is half dead         drowning
            and sucking at the sun.


I hate to say this 
but what is stable
can be easily disrupted,
and what is easily disrupted
can cloud       even        the clearest of days.

This is what I have come to know 
after being turned on,
             turned over,
                             and turned round.
I want to spark the heat of this body with the heart, with 
the heart of the heart, with the heart of the heart of this 
body, with the whole body of the heart, and then I want to 
slow it down and tinker with it. I want to slow it all the way 
downdowndown to a gentle timber,
                                                                            or fall.


To pioneer is to take part in the beginnings of something.

Come, Pioneer.
I am tired of shepherding this heart. Help 
me to believe. Come.
I am near willing to give it up and over. Come,
before I bury it all under.