Jan/Feb 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 1 Poetry |

X

x happened can we agree x happened x happened and then fire happened and then they fell into a red salt pool in a sea of exile who was to take them in whose strangers were they x happened and the red salt waters rose above their thighs can we agree that y might have happened upon reflection given the will to make y happen but never happened can we agree to sit together in the grove where x happened listening to x as it happened according to listening to why x had to happen according to wanting to undo the x that was done to wanting to ask forgiveness but tongue- tied by nightmares of the loss that might ensue reaching for words as composed as nelson mandela’s this then is the sound rising of x as it happened can we agree we hear the blood of the olive might we become the most fortunate of creatures whom g-d forbid x should ever happen to again who build our homes by the fount of living waters tend our flocks and feed our neighbors from a seething pot who walk in the stillness of c

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Lee Sharkey is the author of Calendars of Fire (Tupelo Press, 2013) and three other full-length collections. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Field, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, and Seattle Review. She is the coeditor of the Beloit Poetry Journal.

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Pears

By Lee Sharkey

x happened can we agree x happened x happened and then fire happened and then they fell into a red salt pool in a sea of exile who was to […]

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