Two Poems by Carolina Ebeid
This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features two poems by Carolina Ebeid.
Dead Dead Darlings
One sentence held the echoes of a room without furniture.
One narrowed like a corridor leading from the outside in.
One sentence grew out of fashion with the disco-ball maker.
One was radial & wheeling, & the verb spun at the center.
One forecasted an avalanche. One melted on the sand.
One widened its plot for the burying of corpses.
This one came zoo-tamed eating with other nocturnals.
This one came caged like a hotel fire alarm.
This one was a wound.
This one a stitch.
This a cicatrix.
The Little I Know about the Forms Moving Through Unlit Towns
to open a jar of water
from the Dead Sea
to find no flora or fauna living
in that salt lake save
for the numerous bacteria, this is how
it gets death into
its name because the saline
content cannot sustain
life, to lie down in it
and float & float—
to arrive by boat
by air by walking across
a state line, to see Amrika
that first evening
of new homeland, to see the yonder oxen
and amber waves of methane
if you see something say something
to make a digital map of fear
a shyness map a map of disappointed lovers
Do you know how
to get where you’re going?
to know where love/sex is wanted
to see it at the bottom
of nature, an atom-sized
urge fabricating this shoot-em-up world
to stay quiet a while, to not burn
up the house with a box
of opinions, to see nuance, to see the wilderness
to hold doubts
like a brown carton of groceries
the loaf of bread sticking out
to see response in responsibility
to call across, to call into the hole/
to call across/into
the line break,
to wait, to listen—
to see something then say that something
they look motionless
the clouds, crumpled up like sheets
of stationary chucked
those ideas must be gigantic
to walk under the heft
of their thinking to walk down and catch the A train
Doesn’t it scare you
not to have a wherefore? to never know where
in the cityscape we are when underground
to flash like bulbs shutting off momentarily as we shuttle
through, to see your life on an empty seat there, to note
that someone has opened your life to the passage
marked Joy & Company
Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the PEN Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems).