Back to Issue Forty-Five

After Reading Sappho


I can’t say I’ve ever been slender fire.
Tell me you are a pine
reaching to skim the blue,
and I’ll be rainwater, rainwater.


A red-winged blackbird
shrugging his glory by the lake,
and us, noticing him.


At night, we remember the day
and make constellations of our freckles,
even the bright red ones
that pop up with a kiss
like we’re not young anymore.


Who dances in the kitchen?
Who dances inside your chest?


I put tenderness in my fingertips.
I dip them in violets like satin,
all practice for your lips.

Aza Pace’s poems appear in The Southern Review, Copper Nickel, Tupelo Quarterly, Crazyhorse, New Ohio Review, Passages North, Mudlark, Bayou, and elsewhere. She is the winner of two Academy of American Poets University Prizes and an Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Houston and is pursuing her PhD at the University of North Texas.

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