MAYA CATHERINE POPA
Again I am thinking of the wandmaker,
his labor equal parts language and device,
whittling the wood, polishing a word.
How things must sometimes end up
in the wrong hands for history to happen.
Every bomb and every bomb maker
has a signature. Even the anchor
reading from a teleprompter seems
surprised by what he has just had to say
and explains its the particular bouquet
of shrapnel, breed of agony that marks
the maker. I try, but there's no way
to sleep off this violence. I spin in place
under a rainbow parachute pulled tight
by my kindergarten classmates.
Any one could be a runner in Boston.
The anchor reads the names of two
brothers, and I look for signs of certain
evil. Are these my people, my misguided
people, and how should I keep on
loving them, forgiving them, who can
teach you that, really? Everything
gets languaged eventually, even silence
flourishes rhetorically––that's all for now
folks, stay tuned. The wandmaker tunes
the wood then steps aside for utterance
to draw a shape in the sacrificial air.
161 The Paris-American
Maya Catherine Popa's poems appear or are forthcoming in Tin House, Fence, The Kenyon Review, FIELD, Poetry London, Narrative, and elsewhere. Her non-fiction appears in Poets & Writers Magazine, PN Review, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is the 2014 winner of the Gregory O’Donoghue Competition and the 2013 winner of the Oxford Poetry Society Martin Starkie Prize. She holds an MFA from NYU and an MSt from Oxford University. She teaches in NYC. www.mayacpopa.com
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