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Anniversary

by Carolina Ebeid


Last year’s June brides are setting out lacy cakes to defrost. Paper
plates and napkins for a picnic-anniversary. The first year is made of paper.

“My silence you undo like the moment the globes of overhead light in a ballpark
                shut
their humming wattage—and the stars begin to swirl,” she wrote on a valentine
                of paper.

The smell of snow, memory is a fabric dense with perfumes: Father shoveling
white heaps that cower like strayed sheep; I fold into sleep made of paper.

A man lives in a curfew-town on the western side of a wall. When he walks
he is walking in someone else’s dream: slow rückenfigur clutching the evening
                paper.

Arms of lilac shrub lift in a churchyard. He woke to the thought of lilacs.
The work of grief is perennial: flowering in the given month, unfurling our leaves
                of paper.

But this bird doesn’t sing: caught between storm glass and screen, half sun-
                bleached, half
cardinal wing. The dusty specimen into a brown bag, poor lich-house made of
                paper.

So sweet is thy discourse to me…when you quiet you are giving darkness
to night’s clockwork—and the stars sing,” he answered on an airplane made of
                paper.

Tell me the city doesn’t glimmer with broken glass, disaster won’t rain upon
                them.
Tell me the air is filling with ticker-tape, trombones, victory of softly falling
                paper.

Remember me in a future April when rivers are the color of tea in the Carolina
Lowcountry and where Easter recipes are lettered on handmade paper

 

Carolina Ebeid’s poems appear in Poetry, Lyric, Columbia: a journal of literature and art, Verse Daily and others. She is beginning a book of essays about her Cuban-Palestinian family. Originally from the Garden State, she now lives in Columbia, Missouri, with her husband and son. (4/2007)


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