Back to Issue Seventeen.

monsoon season, one



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

in the mirror. the sand i now
                     &nnbsp;             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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