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  • Some Say
  • V. Penelope Pelizzon (bio)

after Sappho, fragment 16

  When I look at him and feel under my ribsa Sukhoi T-50 performing a Pugachev’s Cobra  no longer as an evasive maneuverbut for the thrilling thrust-vector stomach plunge,  and my limbic system’s an alembicdistilling chilled champagne from rocket fuel,  and my gray hairs are the smoke off shipswhose burning all night bloodied the eastern sky  before dawn doused their charcoal sparsin cold light, whitening his beard with ash,  and in the flotsam washed to the beachwe find a ring, a feather, a key, a watch,  then twenty years collapse like a star;  we’re children, giggling again at the altar. [End Page 84]

The night I knew That one

  Hackles up I snapped at his throat hot bark I  could not swallow unkenneled self  gone feral my words all canine and carnassial

  And him raising against me finally  one eyebrow turning away on his pillow leaving  me licking my salt and singular fury

  Cheek pressed to drain below the pissing  shower for hours I lay gutted by the cool  blade of his refusal even to enter the fray

  That one.   All night an army of ships  of horses an army of men on foot marched  through me   And him   unarmed   unharmed

on the black earth   sleeping [End Page 85]

V. Penelope Pelizzon

v. penelope pelizzon’s second poetry collection, Whose Flesh Is Flame, Whose Bone Is Time, was published in 2014 by Waywiser Press. Her first book, Nostos, published by Ohio University Press in 2000, won the Hollis Summers Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award. Her awards include a 2019 Hawthornden Fellowship and a 2012 Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship.



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