Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 15 • Fall 2005 • Featured Lodestar Writer • Poetry


Marilyn Hacker

For Mimi Khalvati

The air thickens, already more than half in summer.
At the corner café, girls in T-shirts laugh in summer.

The city streets, crowded with possibility
under spring rain, thin out, don't promise enough in summer.

That urge to write one's life instead of living it
makes sentences slip limply off-the-cuff in summer.

Slipped in a drawer under an expired passport,
curly-head in an orchard smiles for a photograph in summer.

Going downstairs early for bread: two winos snore on the landing,
«Can't they make do with sleeping in the rough in summer ? »

Hard-case on the street, teacher out of class both harbor
a lowgrade fever and productive cough in summer.

Espresso winter, springtime of Juliénas:
black tea with honey's what I'll quaff in summer.

Despite my wall of books and Bach's geometries,
some scent wafts from the street to call my bluff in summer.

Not in a tank but a golf-cart rides the oligarch:
however, he does not dismiss his staff in summer.

Let them not, in Maryam's name or Marilyn's,
blot any cindered city off a graph in summer.

Published in The Walrus (Canada only)

Marilyn Hacker

National Book Award-winning poet Marilyn Hacker's most recent book is Desesperanto. Her previous collection, Squares and Courtyards, received the Publishing Triangle's first Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry in 2001. She received the Lenore Marshall Award of the Academy of American Poets and a Lambda Literary Award in 1994 for Winter Numbers, her Selected Poems received the Poets' Prize in 1996, Going Back to the River received a Lambda Literary Award in 1990, and she received an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. Her translations include Birds and Bison, poems by Claire Malroux, and She Says by Vénus Khoury-Ghata.

Go To: Issue 15 or Lodestar Quarterly home page