Published on Academy of American Poets (


between my ribs, fog above the cemetery
where my grandmother
and great-grandmother pass
paper airplanes through the walls, above
the defunct train station and the abandoned zoo
where my friend and his lover
fucked in a tiger cage. Fog in my aorta,
in the hearts of squirrels
who lug around acorns too wide for their throats.
Fog in my cheese sandwich. Fog in my underwear
drawer, in my love’s mouth,
inside the watermelon’s
darkest seed. All of us a dream
the La Brea Tar Pits
are having. Fog above the tar
and fog inside the bones
below the tar. My mother mistaking her child
for a spool of fog. My love
catching the fog
as it leaves the champagne bottle.
Fog casting shadows
in three dimensions, but not the ones
that matter.
Let the fog’s calls
go to voicemail. Tell the fog
to eat shit, burn the fog’s letters.
Watch the fog recede
from the sky’s hairline. My body
where the fog was.


Copyright © 2021 by Ruth Madievsky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 2, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I love when poems open with an incantation, with the feeling that what we’re about to read is both of this world and not of this world. ‘Fog’ appears toward the end of the new poetry collection I’ve been working on since 2016. I am, as ever, obsessed with the way tenderness and violence hold space for each other. How, on the worst day of your life, you will probably hold someone you love, or eat something delicious, or laugh at an excellent meme.”
—Ruth Madievsky


Ruth Madievsky

Ruth Madievsky is the author of Emergency Brake (Tavern Books, 2016). 

Date Published: 2021-12-02

Source URL: