Answering Fear as if It Were a Question

Answering Fear as if It Were a Question

In a unit of time, in a violence of sleep,
I first saw all the tiny murders in rain,
all the wartime verses: rain leading children
into the classroom of looking, into
the being afraid. Rain chipping its way
into the apple trees, into the mouths of rivers.
Stop, says the hypnosis. I cannot stop.
I’ve been thinking slivers of loneliness into
a handsewn shroud, thinking my toy heart
to ticking. Lying in bed at night, rain’s
lonely sopranos open in the palm like swimmers,
a mere lisp of dried flowers in the wind.
All the verbs are ceaseless dioramas
of its wounds. Last night, the raindrops
opened where I felt my mouth, into
flesh-electric briars that said, breathe in.
This dark bulb being born is your sight.
Let it trample you beyond all recognition.
Last night, I dreamed for the first time since.
I dreamed in concrete. I dreamed in wool.
I must have slept for years.

— Jennifer Militello, author of Flinch of Song

T. S. Poetry

Poetry. Winner of the Tupelo Press First Book Award, Jennifer Militello’s poems are lyrical, deeply thoughtful, and laced with associative leaps so surprising that a reader will be exhilarated by the imagination at work (and play) in each poem. The poems grapple with the everyday dramas of family and of love and do so with an avidity of intelligence as bracing as lines from Lorca or Rimbaud.


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