May/June 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 3 PoetryMay 3, 2021 |

Impossible White Goat

St. Jerome in the Desert by Joachim Patinir Before the diagnosis, I’d written nothing publishable for four years, but when I took the pencil up it seemed to set me free. —Ciaran Carson While Carson gets infusions in the hospital, I get mine at home. Insurance won’t cover the cost unless I let a nurse into my house. The paraphernalia has moved in permanently, thwarting me from pretending I’m not really sick, surely not sick enough to live with an IV pole and two boxes filled with syringes, blue gloves, needles, and an EpiPen. I prefer the hospital, to be a visitor not a resident, and to stretch my heart for those worse off. The medicine drips into my hand. My left hand, sinistra, has small squiggly veins, while my right, destra, has pop-up veins large and straight as freeways. The hand I use is the hand they bruise. I’m compelled to notice hands. St. Jerome in the Desert reveals the same liminal world of Landscape with St. Jerome. This day is sunny, sky and river moti

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Sara Backer’s first book of poetry, Such Luck (Flowstone Press, 2019), follows two poetry chapbooks: Scavenger Hunt (dancing girl press, 2018) and Bicycle Lotus (Left Fork, 2015). Her honors include the 2019 Plough Poetry Prize competition, eight Pushcart nominations, and fellowships from the Norton Island and Djerassi Resident Artists Programs. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, lives in New Hampshire, and reads for the Maine Review.

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St. Jerome in the Desert by Joachim Patinir Before the diagnosis, I’d written nothing publishable for four years, but when I took the pencil up it seemed to set me […]

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