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Poem of the Week: March 11, 2019

Hello readers! Every week, BOA's staff and interns share a special poem from our over 300 collections of poetry. To make up for our lost poem from last week, here is a double-feature of two poems from The Human Half by Deborah Brown—now available for pre-order in the BOA Bookstore.

Passion Flower

This year the white passion flower,
no longer extinct, popped up in Hunan province.

In an Ecuadorian night, by flashlight,
a Pinocchio lizard, a frog, a jellyfish,
back from the dead.

A supernova begins with the death
of a star, each one born from dust.

Liu Xiaobo, in prison, wrote to his wife:
“Let the dust bury you.” But he saw
a ridge of mountains struck with a golden light,

the wish for a world reborn,
like a supernova, or the passion flower
we thought extinct, then not.


A New Geography

On the days she walks beside me,
I remember Eratosthenes, how he used shadows
to calculate the earth’s circumference,
coined the word for where objects are.

Though we don’t know how they lived,
we can locate lost peoples—
the Maya, the Angkor, the people of Easter Island—
an atlas of nations, names
for lost, floating bodies of land—

an invisible reality hidden near us, living with us
the way her shadow curves along beside me.

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