A Poem by Miriam Bird Greenberg
Author: Poetry Editor
May 10, 2016
This week, a poem by Miriam Bird Greenberg.
CROSSING THE BRIDGE
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
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
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
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.
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.