Poem of the Week | January 27, 2014

This week we’re featuring a new poem by Michelle Boisseau from our hot-off-the-press winter issue, 36.4. Boisseau received her second NEA poetry fellowship in 2010. A Sunday in God-Years, her fourth book of poems, was published by University of Arkansas Press 2009; the press also published her third book, Trembling Air, a PEN USA finalist, in 2003. Her textbook, Writing Poems (Longman), in its 8th edition, is coauthored with Hadara Bar-Nadav. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Recent work has appeared in Poetry, Yale Review, Cincinnati Review, and Miramar.
Author’s note:

In the last year’s of her life, my mother grew smaller and smaller–the kind of slow old lady who blocks the aisle in the grocery store and you erase in your annoyance as you rush around her, but at the same time my mother seemed to be becoming bigger and bigger, enlarged with a kind of reckless power, the dark chewing center of a galaxy.


I Ate My Mate

In memory, JTB


By the time you realize how
I’ve shrunk enough that two
beetles shoulder to shoulder
in the aisles of a cabbage leaf
could give me the what-for


I’ll be aweigh on the swells
of night, galley engorged
with slurpings, but light getting
lighter becomes the weighty
nature of an old dragon lady


whose spasms slather the sky
as galaxies glide through my black
holes and I stretch to accept
each spurt of twinkling cloud.