Giavanna Munafo: Two Poems

 

Don’t Go 

You don’t have to understand pollination
to know about flowers. How their smells
cling, their colors flash, their petals crush.
If you brought me a rose it meant something.
If you discovered the very first heartbeat
in a star it would be the one in my chest,
the one that turns to dust no matter what.
You don’t have to check the weather vane
to know a storm is coming. Inhale the not yet
wet air. See the dahlias hanging their heads.
Quick, before the first drop, strip so that
when it comes, the rain streams down
your skin, moonlit, into the dirt:
from heaven to earth through you.

 

two hands in the shape of a bird

 

 

Boys Will Be 

Another round of tat-tat-tat
chews my nerves
as fluke snowfall becomes
runoff, fallout surging
through pipes,
the house animate
with change.

My son reloads inside,
grit footprints marking
the day’s coming and going.
Apostle to YouTube men
fingering gun parts
on lonely sofas,
he’s a young

man seeking command
against pink skies.
The tree line shirks
last slush, and the
dogs hunt a tennis ball
flung in an arc then lost
in a crevice. Late

light, time for supper.
I slice leek shafts
to fill with aromatics
and ricotta, mix
a cocktail to catch
the falling day, bitter-
sweet, two fingers deep.

 


Art Information

 


Giavanna Munafo

Giavanna Munafo lives and writes in Norwich, Vermont. She teaches in the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Dartmouth College, where she served as director of the Center for Women & Gender and director for training and educational programs in the Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity.

Her poems have appeared in Bloodroot and Slab.


 

Comments

I love the way these poems MOVE -- the way a line so often surprises but feels inevitable. One of my favorite passages:

If you discovered the very first heartbeat
in a star it would be the one in my chest,
the one that turns to dust no matter what.

The narrator moves from within -- an infant's first heartbeat -- to the far distance of stars and then back to within the rib-cage and then the lovely surprise of the star/heart turning to dust, with the Biblical implication of "dust to dust."

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