Back to Issue Twenty.

in the mouth of the wolf



The thinkable begins. Blue hour,
this explains my drinking.

Back then, the drinking
had little explaining to do.

Chosen by swells, blue swallow
to anyone who knows better.


The morning at its smallest:
whether winter should be weather
this warm November morning.

Hands gripped to steering wheel—blue
to anyone who has felt like theory before.

I say this explains all the women I know,
the draft under the front door.


Pinned by the same nails that once held
the house, still-lifes and oils,

I have little use for hammers and measures now.

I took the hammer to the wall before.

I say this explains
movement, when taking it too far,
became far enough to focus.


Italy is what I talk about at the office.
Lovers are what I talk about after work.


When remembering surpasses:

The South is The South,
a title for a childhood and old pet names.

I say this explains my lying still,
the blue that lessens cities

into snow globes, chipped ice.


I say a lesser god to lesser men—
even orchards took in snow.
Blue to anyone who knows better,
even hunger goes under.
Vanishing begins at the mouth.


Florencia Varela‘s poems have appeared in journals such as Western Humanities Review, Drunken Boat, Diagram, The Destroyer, Phantom Limb, Gulf Coast, and Washington Square Review. She completed her MFA in Poetry at Columbia University. Her chapbook, Outside of Sleep, was published in 2012 by Dancing Girl Press. She was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and currently lives in Brooklyn.

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