Posts Categorized: Poetry

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IR ONLINE POETRY: “Woman as a Forest Fire” by Tennessee Hill

I like how precious looks like precocious
and I look blonde and glowy like a sickness.
Or the bowl of apricots tumbled across

the hardwood. My mother tells me as we stack
back the fruits, to be a good wife I need to start
with the Oxy early.

She tells me if I turn out to be a cheater, never
admit it. Holds the mirror as I trace perfumed oil
around my collarbone and says

Roll a little softer.

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IR ONLINE POETRY: “Anatomy Lab” by Megan Kollitz

Apparently “her nails were painted”
is The Wrong Answer
when asked to explain yourself to Dr. Professor, PhD
after you, normally top of your class,
So Royally Flunked
your most recent practical.

He looked at me expectantly
but I had no other explanation to offer,
so I looked up from my own nails,
kept short because of the latex gloves,
shrugged, and left.

Because I couldn’t bring myself
to identify the vagus nerve or various lobes of liver when,
So glaringly apparent,
were her nails.
Painted.

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IR ONLINE POETRY: “23andme” by Ananya Kumar-Banerjee

Justification for attempts to conjoin body to separate cultures, a means to convey my particular pathetic intention.

Broadly. This is what the report says of me. It says my maternal ancestor came from East Africa, as we all do, over 180,000 years ago. She lay herself at the feet of the Indus River and made her way to that region called home.

Conjecture. <0.1%, a small speck on the edge of the diagram, East Asia. Attributing culture to an inherent physicality, an invented way to subvert nurture. Or improper, inappropriate nurturing: sitting on the countertop with my mother yi qi bao jiao zi, sweet soft summer sounds of Sade and the Supremes spilling in the smoke.

Lineage, walking backward. This is the reverse. February, the taste of nian gao sticky on my lips, hot plates boiling water for tang yuan. The strands are fine.

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IR ONLINE POETRY: “The Deli Counter” by Alejandro Lemus-Gomez

The small-town grocery store my mother
and I shop at has more pine trees around it
than cars in its parking lot. Inside,
the speckled linoleum floor is marred

with the imprints of locally bought boots—
it’s been years since someone from headquarters
has gone out of their way to make
renovations in these parts. The deli counter

sports the fingerprints of people
who press the glass too hard when pointing
at the ham they want. My mother, wanting
to practice her English with the workers,

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IR ONLINE POETRY: “Flight of the Ladybug” by Alejandro Lemus-Gomez

In my father’s study, on the highest floor,
the morning light crashes against the windows.
He walks up there in red plaid slippers.

When he moves in his chair, the pneumatic pump
squeaks all the way down to the basement,
along with the taca taca taca of his keyboard.

His fingers strike the buttons so quickly
my mother calls it ametralladora
literaria. His hands loaded with letters,

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