blackbird online journal Spring 2008  Vol. 7  No. 1


Susan Aizenberg
Jeffery Bahr
Sandra Beasley
Agatha Beins
Bruce Bond
Ash Bowen
Abraham Burickson
Peter Campion
Judith Cofer
Wyn Cooper
Norman Dubie
Jehanne Dubrow
Rishma Dunlop
Claudia Emerson
Brian Henry
Jaimee Hills
Lynda Hull
David Keplinger
James Thomas Miller
Joshua Poteat
Tomaž Šalamun
Elizabeth Scanlon
Eleanor Ross Taylor
Fritz Ward
Ryo Yamaguchi


Fragment 13 from a Nonexistent Yiddish Poet
                                              Ida Lewin (1906–1938)
                                                AlwaysWinter, Poland

I believe in the body’s power
to hurt itself—                       
            bury the crescent moons
of nail clippings in dirt behind
the house, unravel strands of hair
from the brush’s spines
then float them down the Vistula,
                                    bless the eyelash
fallen from the cheek, the bead
of blood          like a poisonous berry
squeezed from the fingertip,
the scab, brown as a forest mushroom
which peels itself back to bare
new skin                      still pink
beneath, as though a petal
of the flower-wound
—It’s no mistake that evil is named
for the eye, our own gaze blue
and ominous as water,               
the pupil black,              so deep 
we cannot see its end, a well
that tunnels to the buried earth. 

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