194.1: Sara Vander Zwaag:: [Nothing comes into view.] & [There’s been a lot of Jupiter on the wall;] & Which Witch 194

Outside, all the people are looking up. The blood-red super-moon eclipse has everyone transfixed. When I walk to the bodega for a fizzy water, the guy behind the counter asks if I saw it. Without caring about the answer, I text all my friends to ask if they saw it. I text a lover about it because it seems like the sort of thing moons are for. If I had Sara Vander Zwaag’s number, I’d text her, too. I’d apologize for being so wrapped up in the moon while I’m trying to put into words what I like so much about this set of poems. I would accuse her of asking me to look up at it, “the moon we have killed by loving it,” as she writes. I would text her because I feel invited to do so; these poems feel like a conversation with someone I love: “I’m bored. The moon is a crescent shape. This morning I had eggs.” My friend Colleen texts me back: “I think it looked spooky and neato.” I tell her about Sara’s poems. (Normally I’d use a last name to talk about an author, but I feel like Sara and I are old friends.) I tell Colleen I want to say something about the moon because I think Sara is into the moon. But really, I tell her, all I want to do is quote these lines over and over: “When did I decide / that I am the one who loves more always? / What a stupid way to remain empty.” The first time I read them I wanted to call Sara up on the phone and say something stupid like, “How true!” But really, how true! The voice Sara creates in these poems makes me feel okay writing that. Intimate, quirky, intelligent, silly and rough around the edges, these poems are like catching up with a friend over dinner. You can’t wait for the life updates and every now and then she drops a bomb of wisdom that, if you can nod your head and think How true!, makes you feel like part of a very special coven. Good catching up with you, Sara! Next time, the check’s on me. S. Whitney Holmes
Nothing comes into view.
Twelve nights without Ben leer on the hills with the fog;
busted faces of the sun that are turned towards and away from.
I want to say, “good god,” to him, but it’s harder to be the one left.
I will the S in Seattle to become my name.
Make these two weeks fill his belly with a beast that bears my semblance.
Love me, dammit. Love me back.
In his absence, I unfold a thousand wisps of what to do.
I’m bored. The moon is a crescent shape. This morning I had eggs.
He’ll know that means I missed him, eating eggs.
He’ll guess the sound machine was unplugged in a rage.
And it’s true. The ocean swells.




* * *





There’s been a lot of Jupiter on the wall;
they indicate that this is the month of two faces,
and I have shown the world both of mine at every moment:
they sit, one atop the other, and occasionally take turns up front.
In the restaurant, the candlelight makes my right eye twitch.
What is it in the ambiance that I cannot take?
I am okay, yes. I am simply eating more lettuce and onion;
I am trying to grow old with you every time
I feel an old emotion. Right now, I am trying to remember
that four days alone does not mean the world of my friends
has gone to dinner without me, and you are not the front of the parade.
You are here to love me, and I am here to comment
on the pizza sauce in a way that forgives my two faces for flexing,
in a way that owns my emotions as mine, not shards of yours,
not a tape that catches its own loop. When did I decide
that I am the one who loves more always?
What a stupid way to remain empty.
January, you will be mine.




* * *




Which Witch


Witches pulled from the grass.
Witches pulled from the deep.


Fat-armed witches roll dough
while unarmed witches sleep.


There are three things I will ask Ben to keep:
infinite witches, obviously, first;


the moon we have killed by loving it;
a third thing I cannot think of.