two poems by Suzahn Ebrahimian

Sitting with Alma

Two children, sandwiched together, cradled

Between the arms of the blue velvet chair

In my room. Two children, though

One of us had outgrown that title like

An old sweater with wrists sprouting

Bald over the cuffs, an overwintered carrot

She asked me about impossible

Forcing me to lie

I told her that not many things are impossible, really.

Her eyes widened, she confirmed with exactitude:

Only ten things are impossible

And the first

Is doing splits on the moon

Then we sat silent, forced to consider

She, as to what the other nine

Could be

And I, as to all impossibilities

That would most certainly

Come before moon splits

All my impossibility

Facing me expectant as a

Child would; impossible

To kill a ghost, to bring

A ghost back to life

To scrub memory creaks

Out of wooden floors

To not, at certain times,

Feel my mother

As if she were a suggestion

Inhabiting the spaces between

My skin and my muscles

To finish my laundry

To avoid succumbing daily to

A tempting shroud of bed sheets

To stop coveting a bird’s wing

Or a fox’s tail or a minnow’s fin

Hours later I alone remain


Our list of ten remains at one,

Because whose life depends upon

Doing splits on the moon?

Better that the impossible remains

The simple unreachable

For now


You asked if I woke up when you climbed over me at night

We live in an alley that was carved out of folklore

Anointed in green and poppies and medicine

Stones litter the ground and point to the familiarly shaped

Leaves that had died stuck on the stem. I picked the smallest

And held it up to you with one eye squinted,


In the mornings I treasure

The way the leaves look

Filtered through a sanctuary window

Later, I see you in the kitchen

Offering up leeks

I hear the knife coming down

Onto peppers

You asked if you should mash

The beans or leave them be, you asked

If I was doing ok and your curiosity was readable,

A sutra on a faded page

The quiet struck trauma quickly, like oil fields

Our psyches rest only in preparing to erupt

There are tensions like a woven rug on a wire drying

When wearily we realize there is

No more dust left to settle

Beyond the kitchen window

There is an over-ripened sun

That rots the loveliest colors

Ryan Francesconi

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