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Poem of the Week: February 18, 2019

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.

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