— Casey FitzSimons
“Oh, open your hands,
I want to return your trophies.”
— Esther Kamkar, “What I Love,” from
Hum of Bees, Ziba Press, 2011
The lady at the far end of the front row
had been saying she couldn’t hear
but she wouldn’t move closer. The poet
read as loud as she could, about
a young man lost to conflict, whose medals
his mother did not want.
The poet was flanked by windows onto
acres of apricot blossoms, their black trunks
like columns of soldiers seeming
to march with the cadence of poems,
their petals rising like souls.
The unhearing woman pointed
with her straightened arm and index
finger over the poet’s shoulder
at a bride with wind-lifted veil who led
her entourage through the blooming trees.