The 2River View 24.1 (Fall 2019)

Yiskah Rosenfeld

Love Poem on the Morning after Atonement

If not you, then at least
the ladders of light angling through your morning windows
voices still sleepwalking on the windowsills

at least the tall tilt of mirror
where liquid angels run up and down
the one place that you and I are both

at least myself as you could never see me
pregnant angel of your dreams
filtering through the rooms like the coffee and the light

If not you, then that angel’s wing
rising to its elbow-perfect fold
and falling

Seventh Day in the Valley

Blue jays exchanged mating calls
hopping and swooping around me on the deck

raucous rattle and sweet kuet kuet kuet,
then flying branch to branch to start their nest.

Yellow roses made their final bows
scattered patterned petals

in a path to the kitchen.
There I made a careful pot of tea.

The mountain was jagged in places,
soft in others, and magnificent.

As the sky darkened, the house
was as quiet as I’d ever known it.

Even the dictionary pressed its words
against flat red leaves in little kisses.

A coyote crossed the driveway,
then turned to watch. We watched

each other. We watched
a good, long while.

How I knew I had, at last,
grown still.

Yiskah Rosenfeld holds an MFA from Mills College. She balances solo parenting and teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she received the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award and the 2019 Jeff Marks Memorial Honorable Mention Prize through december magazine.

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