The Blue Devils Of Blue River Avenue
My mother didn’t like my going over to the Sambeauxs’. There was something mysterious and menacing about that house: a bloodcurdling scream, a silhouette of a knife in the window, a wolf on its hind legs with a leather tail scuffling along behind the juniper trees.February 2023
You’re Not A Racist
You’re not a racist; you’re my liberal friend, the one who applauds my Africanness. But one day, in your home, you asked me never to leave the window open lest some Black — you blinked, snipped off what you were about to say, and continued — lest some thief climb through it to steal something.January 2023
Selected Poems (And A Conversation)
As part of our ongoing celebration of the magazine’s fiftieth year in print, we asked Ellen Bass and Danusha Laméris to choose a poem by the other for this month’s Dog-Eared Page. We start with a conversation in which they discuss their shared history and why they selected the poems that follow.
The Big Picture
I try to look at the big picture. / The sun, ardent tongue / licking us like a mother besotted / with her new cub, will wear itself out. / Everything is transitory.
After my brother died, his wife was sure he was living / inside their cat, Rocky. He’s in there, she’d say, staring into / those blank, yellow eyes. Isma’il? Isma’il? Can you hear me?
Where do those lost socks / go? The ones that vanish / between washer and dryer, / submerge in suds and never / surface again?December 2022
Changing Your Mind
About a career, about college, about living in AmericaNovember 2022
Ohashi Bridge In The Rain
When we met for lunch, she wore a dark silk dress and red lipstick. At the school where we both taught, she always dressed practically: plastic boots, a raincoat over a faded blue sweatshirt, a white sailor’s cap.October 2022
You can prepare for some things. / Others fall on you like / meteors ripping open the sky.September 2022
You’d donated most of your organs, so the body in your coffin was basically a scarecrow version of you. . . . Thank God they don’t do brain transplants, I thought. Anybody who’d gotten your brain would’ve woken up from surgery a total asshole. I heard you laughing at this. I could remember your laugh really well. It was a letdown that I could hear it only in my head.August 2022
Sticks And Stones
In 1986 I was the Horse Girl of St. Margaret’s, the tallest girl in sixth grade, with dark-brown hair I tossed like a mane.July 2022
Four Poems From Ancient China
Call next door, ask / neighbors on the west if they can spare / any wine, and suddenly a jarful comes / across the fence — fresh, unfiltered. We / open mats beside Meandering River’s / long currents, crystalline winds arrive, / and you’re startled it’s already autumn.June 2022