Summer 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 1 PoetryJune 12, 2023 |

Haruspication

You call from San Mateo, where the twin orange trees are still wreathed in smoke, and the doe in the yard appears to wheeze as she grazes damp earth: your unlikely perilous paradise of quakes and fires, gold rush and farrago, a shelf of shiny toys about to slide from Nob Hill into glittering sea. Yet you call with news bulletins from dreams’ timely intuitions —  be careful around small dogs, wear blue on Tuesday, add turmeric for ache, avoid jeeps and spinach in car-wreck and E. coli season, don’t trust that “handsy” date. Your well- schooled mind hasn’t stopped being a radio tower of premonition: belated notes from the wistful dead, a portable Ouija board and divining plate, spelling out the witcheries of fate. I trust in little else — in no one god or given creed. No friend, wrote Rossetti, like a sister. No prophet either. Who better to forecast the weather of wish or near disaster than the first girl to slip into my bed, murmuring syllables with the lilt

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Heather Treseler is the author of Parturition (Southword, 2020), which received the Munster Literature Centre’s chapbook award in Ireland and the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize from the New England Poetry Club. Her poems appear in The Irish Times, Harvard Review, The American Scholar, The Cincinnati Review, PN Review, and The Iowa Review, and her essays about poetry appear in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, and eight books about contemporary and modernist poetry. In 2019 she received the Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize from The Missouri Review for “The Lucie Odes,” and in 2021, Spencer Reece chose her poem “Wildlife” for the Yeats Poetry Prize. Treseler is professor of English at Worcester State University and a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center.

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