Nov/Dec 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 6 Poetry |

On Viscera

A broken sestina A chance look out the window, into a squall of white feathers —  what kid shakes a pillow in our alley? I rise for a real look into the November gray to see a hawk clutching a pigeon in its beak. I slam open the window, but the hawk just stares into the wind-blown feathers toward me in my bedroom, not a really safe place either, then takes off for better purchase to devour the meat in its claws and beak. Frozen at this window, I notice on my sill a feather —  a keepsake of the real, proof of a pain that is real, that mess of pigeon on street or branch. I don’t want to think about beaks. Or windows or feathers that recollect an image of innards. Who would want to reel at the sight of one’s own bowels, brash red and bile? What infernal beak can break the brain’s shuttered window to see  — a mother and father on a pull-out feather bed, the wall too shaking —  the entrails of the unconscious as real as bark and branch, as great as wings li

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Kimiko Hahn
Kimiko Hahn’s tenth collection of poetry Foreign Bodies will be out in 2020. She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation, Queens College, City University of New York.

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A broken sestina A chance look out the window, into a squall of white feathers —  what kid shakes a pillow in our alley? I rise for a real look into […]

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