Frond Ghazal

By Jeanine Stevens

Are you the great relentless one, searching

words, volumes, reduced to a limping iamb?


There is no race to exit, only the one in my cortex.

With chalk, I stop to inscribe the memory of a thrush.


Seas relax, putrid air purifies with violet, brambles

hiding the walk clear themselves. The vaccines work.


Over the next hill, a noisy bonfire? or just Lot’s

wife burning saline, new dew caught in a tired goatskin.


It will take years to walk all the fronds inside this palm

until I reach the steppes, the savannahs, the Solomon’s.


Jeanine Stevens studied poetry at U.C. Davis, and has an M.A. in Anthropology. Winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt and one of two finalists for the William Stafford Prize. Author of Sailing on Milkweed, her latest chapbook is “Needle in the Sea,” from Tiger’s Eye Press. Poems have appeared in Poet LoreEvansville ReviewPearlNorth Dakota ReviewPerfume RiverAlehouse and Quercus Review.

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