interior banner image

A Poem by Miriam Bird Greenberg

A Poem by Miriam Bird Greenberg

Author: Poetry Editor

May 10, 2016

This week, a poem by Miriam Bird Greenberg.




Let’s cross the bridge
_______________made of rain, curry favors
of lightning’s orchard
_______________or lightning’s lash which stripes
the sky’s back. Let’s make a bed
_______________of roses
for our war, imported
_______________from mountains so steep electricity shivers
up the wires twice
_______________as slowly, airlifted
through cloud banks. Let’s paint our toenails
_______________and stay up all night
telling stories
_______________of the time I contracted a famous disease
and spoke in tongues
_______________to mosquitoes, the blood offerings you make
in the sink some mornings. Why aren’t we unzipping
_______________the night dark as a road
midnight comes
_______________late to? If you burn
a field does the smoke
_______________that rises from it
contain spirits of an undug well?
_______________Let’s wear the clothes
of the dead, then tear them off
_______________each other. Let a persimmon’s
juice run down your chin.
_______________Let’s commit
perjury together.


Recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Poetry Foundation, MIRIAM BIRD GREENBERG is the author of In the Volcano’s Mouth, which won the 2015 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press this autumn. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where for many years she collaboratively developed site-specific performances for very small audiences. Supported by a grant from the John Anson Kittredge Fund, she’ll spend the first half of 2017 in Hong Kong at work on a project about economic migrants living in the Chungking Mansions.

Photo by Milan Collins
Poetry Editor photo

About: Poetry Editor

Lambda Literary's Poetry Spotlight is currently closed for submissions.

Subscribe to our newsletter