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POETRY

Beit

by Daniel Biegelson

In the beginning there were two beginnings and each one was blessed every day
        like a threshold—I stepped out this morning over a litany of ants tearing apart
bit by tiny bit a dried worm abandoned by the recent rain—twice a day, morning and evening, forever and ever
because, and here is where it gets tricky, you and I are ghosts after the flood
        has subsided, which means we are also tiny islands of light or plastic or some other
micro-debris in a universe of fog we call home. We make a home. Fix ‘the suppers for the worms and the elves.’ Play games
        with the flowered curtains. Draw them back
a while in abeyance. Love is an act
you revise through repetition. You are numb. To me. I’ve been afflicted and bargaining.
        I bought a lottery ticket from a farmland gas station and felt momentarily lucky (better
even)
but when I went to the remnant woods and found them
limited/limiting, I was still not me again. B came later in anticipation of uplift
the green up lighting
effectively promised, but could not bear my repeated condition. I’ve always
        wanted binoculars to see more closely birds on branches and the herds of distant thunder
heads. A binary is a particular
perception of a coupling. A pairing.
        Like a simile. Impossibly encompassing. Like a mourning dove bowing in long grass
in rain heard
with eyes turned round. Pain is a fusion and a fissure. A mask that delimits vision. Hold
        your fingers as bars in front of your face. Snap the photograph with a black and white filter. May you be more. May I. Do you
        hear the please. The pleading. Eat the tare. May I be more than my deleterious hands
at my face. No one will see
in truth. May I be more than an astrolabe.
        More than a lexicon. A body of words in uproar. A dream otherwise. Reverse course.
        There is no sea. To enter. Upon.
Upon which the moon shines as the tattered petals of white peonies. Drink. May you continue
to breathe.
A young woman, a friend even, I knew once confessed
        she wanted to draw children’s books and then did. Die
also. At thirty-nine of an eating disorder. Though not directly. I was not kind.
I was. I suppose. I promise. I think. Cruel about her aspirations in the way they seemed
        at the time—naively I admit—limited for her talent.
And I don’t want to turn away. From my tin thoughts.
Which have taught
        me guilt and the necessity of guilt. From (un)certainty. For so many.
Have homes. Singular. And this may be the problem with homogeneity. Back a while.
Straws help us
        with suffrage. Election. Sortition. Sorting. Through each other’s blessings
which are curses and curses which are blessings. From nowhere. From everywhere.
At some distance, you empty
        the attic of all the portables. If you have an attic. If you have
a carnival to empty. Go out now and dare the strongman. (The strawman). Ring the bell
        with a hammer. Bell! ‘the very word is like a bell.’ Go out
into the heart
        that you exculpate and cast forward
entrusted with song and name yourself. Go on now as if the desert was the sea and the stars
and the space between the stars and the atoms and the space between the atoms and so on. Forever
        and ever. Again and again. May no one remember
me because I looked casually away.
May there always be
        a new breath upon a liquid earth.
‘I am not sinister.’ Mr. I am trying to say I am. For me. At least. If only. Sincere. In purpose.
In kind. So. May you begin every sentence with may. May there be a sentence after all.
After the break and period. Anything. A pause. A pox. A wave. A sky
to open up upon us.e

Daniel Biegelson
Daniel Biegelson is the author of the chapbook Only the Borrowed Light (VERSE) and Director of the Visiting Writers Series at Northwest Missouri State University as well as an Associate Editor for The Laurel Review. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Denver Quarterly, cream city review, FIELD, Interim, Mid-American Review, and Zone 3, among other places. He hails from New Jersey.
Submit your work! Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts, seeks high quality submissions from both emerging and established writers. We publish craft essays and interviews as well as fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—and we want to see your best work, regardless of form, style, or subject matter. We read general submissions from May 15 - August 15 and from March 15 - April 30 for our ProForma Contest.

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Daniel Biegelson is the author of the chapbook Only the Borrowed Light (VERSE) and Director of the Visiting Writers Series at Northwest Missouri State University as well as an Associate Editor for The Laurel Review. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Denver Quarterly, cream city review, FIELD, Interim, Mid-American Review, and Zone 3, among other places. He hails from New Jersey.

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Lebanese-American poet, writer, and educator Rewa Zeinati is the founding editor of Sukoon. Recipient of the 2019 Edward Stanley award for poetry, she is the author of the poetry chapbook, Bullets & Orchids (Corrupt Press, 2013). Her work is published in several journals and anthologies including, Prairie Schooner, Guernica, Diode, So To Speak, The Spectacle, Natural Bridge Journal, Quiddity, Mizna, Uncommon: Dubai, Making Mirrors: Writing/Righting by Refugees, Common Boundary, among others. She’s spent the last decade and a half moving countries and cities in the US and Arab region and currently considers Metro Detroit her new home.

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