1. Opening, from The Burden of Nisan

Courtesy of geoff_heal/Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

The poem carried her
through time

she lay reading on the balcony
on a sun-wombed border

a chrysanthemum ignited
the garden’s actuality
a well of gravity

birdsong harpooned the air

even her mother was caught
in the window

she turned to look and was trapped
by the ghosts of slender

Her name rippled
her lips
halfway bent to her daughter

the rifted reality
no syllable passed

How far gone the shining glass
how far gone inflamed enamel

and her daughter on the balcony
stretched out on her stomach and reading
on the sun-wombed border

The cold is still
preserved on the tiles

she dropped into the book
the ink of the abyss

Shimon Adaf is a poet, writer, and part-time musician. Born in Sderot to Jewish parents of Moroccan heritage, he is author of a book of essays, four poetry collections, and 12 novels, most recently, The Lost Detective trilogy, translated by Yardenne Greenspan.

Becka Mara McKay is a poet and translator. She directs Florida Atlantic University’s MFA creative writing program, where she serves as faculty advisor to Swamp Ape Review. Her newest poetry collection is The Little Book of No Consolation.
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