Back to Issue Seventeen.

monsoon season, one

BY RAENA SHIRALI

 

rainy days recall other
rainy days with their dark
smell—my moon, standing behind me

in the mirror. the sand i now
resent—snake tracks leading

away. this must be

the anticlimax. i wait for things
to let up. i wait so long the ocean
becomes its own festooning

violence. mist shifts & shimmies
over a dim creek bed. everything looks blue
& the christmas song that matches,

to boot, plays from a beat-up stereo.
you’ll be doing alright with your memories of light—but
look: here is my body becoming

an island. here is my body
becoming itself.

 

Raena Shirali’s first book, GILT, is forthcoming in 2016 with YesYes Books, and her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Four Way Review, Indiana Review, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, The Nervous Breakdown, Pleiades, and many more. Her other honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and a “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. She currently lives in Charleston, SC, where she teaches English at College of Charleston, and will be the Spring 2017 Philip Roth Resident at the Stadler Center for Poetry.

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