Winter 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1995 |

Netherworlds

The day hurts. Each leaf   scribbles crimsoned ocher       across the lousy silence. Chocolate cherries   wrapped in silver foil       make my fillings ache. I am pulled down to the bed.   Pages flip. Late October,       1989. Yes, I think I know this house where   an off-duty cop says,       "You must be Robert Lowell." That's in another city,   & please don't ask why I'm here       standing before this bronze heft as the 54th marches past mansions   & clubs with drawn window shades.       A hundred threadbare boots climb the sandy hills   of Fort Wagner, their gold cross       on a star still up there. Maybe a few minutes   of the evening news,       & then a light dinner downstairs. Something hot   & spicy. What's this?       A black man did what, shot a pregna

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Yusef Komunyakaa’s seventeen books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Warhorses, and most recently The Chameleon Couch and Testimony. His many honors include the William Faulkner Prize (Universite Rennes, France), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art, and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Testimony, and Gilgamesh: A Verse Play. He teaches at New York University.

Read More

Always a Way

By Yusef Komunyakaa

The day hurts. Each leaf   scribbles crimsoned ocher       across the lousy silence. Chocolate cherries   wrapped in silver foil       make my fillings ache. I am pulled down to the bed.   Pages flip. Late October,       1989. Yes, I […]

K’rar

By Yusef Komunyakaa

The day hurts. Each leaf   scribbles crimsoned ocher       across the lousy silence. Chocolate cherries   wrapped in silver foil       make my fillings ache. I am pulled down to the bed.   Pages flip. Late October,       1989. Yes, I […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.