Fall 2017 / Featured / Poetry 2017 / Uncategorized / Volume 48

Goodnight, Irene–Joyce Janca-Aji

We hear ourselves speak as though

it is we who are driving this mad bus

pell-mell down the mountain.


Outside, under the juniper tree,

the wasps are swarming, the bullfrogs

relentless and brackish in their chant.


Pain or pleasure, medicine or poison,

each blade of grass can be a gate,

each footfall a moment of wakefulness.


What is the secret of the juniper?

Where do you go when you know?


Reach across this long table.

Hand me the knife that cuts itself.

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