Hello readers! Every week, BOA's staff and interns share a special poem from our over 300 collections of poetry. This week's poem is from All Its Charms by Keetje Kuipers—now available for pre-order in the BOA Bookstore.
Landscape with Sage and the Names of My Children
I picked all the flowers, I palmed all the stones.
I dropped the nameless insects onto my tongue
and felt their black wings unfurl. I held the dead
buck by his antlers and dragged him through the sage,
brought my teeth to the tender bridge of ribs and fed
until the glossy maggots overtook me.
I climbed the red rocks robed in their red dust.
I put the earth—all its charms—within me,
into each waiting pocket. Lip and ear.
What will happen when my body can no longer
hold this fragrant salt, its hardened tears,
inside? Let mine into the dirt. The names
I’ve chosen for my children are already fast
across the sky like the ochre feathers that frame
the blackbird’s shrug. There is no such thing
as a scar, no matter how much I want
to be one. Every birth—even the wings
of the caddis lifting from the river
in a shroud—a momentary hunger.