Since 1996 Volume XXI

 Judy Kronenfeld

Judy Kronenfeld is the author of four books of poetry and two chapbooks. Her most recent books are Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), Shimmer (WordTech, 2012), and Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, 2nd edition (Antrim House, 2012)—winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize.


My Long-Left Birth-City


gleams in a movie,

its lights gems on the plush display

cloth of night, its bridges bracelets.

Yet the shabbiness of a glimpsed

street corner is what gets through, and mine reaches out

from memory to me—a speaker of its native

language—with this begrimed cornice,

this lintel, this rain- and sun-mottled awning

over the drugstore window, this black ash

on the sill.

                                    As if,

were I to rush there, I could hold

in my hands their distilled atmosphere—

as someone holds in the cup

of her ear, a taped voice

achingly familiar. As if every place we've ever

called home does not flow away

from us on an unlooped conveyer—

like the waters of an infinity pool

vanishing over the zero edge.

As if I wanted to reach down

on my chest for the key there

six decades past, to unlock the square skates,

tighten them against my sneakers, lean in

and rumble over the cracked sidewalks flashing mica

past the drugstore to the park,

and glide on its paths and stop

at another corner,

newsstand, candy store, barber shop—

utterly, beautifully, unremarkable.



from  Judy Kronenfeld, Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle Press, 2017)

 Copyright, Judy Kronenfeld.



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