Two Poems by Geri Rosenzweig


Speaking to Each Other in Strange Tongues    


                                                                “when we listen to our pulse,

                                                                  that’s the sound of the Lover’s Voice”

                                                                                                          Lawrence Kushner



Unconscious in the garden, and before the apple

awakened in our mouth, did we hear the Lover’s Voice

singing beneath the skin of our wrist?


The hinge of a gate cries out in the nothingness holding

the imprint of our bodies, those hollows

we come across in a field where animals settle in the night.


Perhaps if we stop saying,

 leave us alone, we’ve got other lovers on the blue roads,  

we’d remember that what comes and goes in our breath


is the sound of someone rehearsing their name

while the cell phone, the palm pilot, keeps ringing

and spring after spring brings the separation of lambs from their mothers.


At the great delta, where reeds sway in the salted syllables

of the end, we’ll cease speaking to each other in strange tongues?

we’ll hear each other singing in the dark?





I floated a hopeful smile

to the arriving dawn.

Maybe it carried one

of my lives in its arms?

I had promises lined up

like cutlery in a drawer;

to smooth my hair

with a comb instead

of night’s bent fork.

Light bounced

off the branch of an oak,

crows glinted past windows

the wind kept clean

with a rag that had my initials on it,

not that I mind

the wind’s swift work

between the houses,

sometimes it comes

with the happy outline

of a mouth stamped on a tissue,

a red hot moment

plucked from a car’s back seat;

we have so many lives

the wind can’t help

but come across one of them standing

on the side of a country road

waving her cardboard sign,

 “to the heart or bust.”




Geri Rosenzweig's poems have appeared in publications such as Nimrod, Poetry International, Verse, The Nebraska Review, Poet Lore, River City, The Greensboro Review, Sulphur River Literary Review,, Christian Science Monitor, Kalliope, and elsewhere.  She has had two chapbooks published, "Half The Story", March Street Press, and "God Is Not Talking", Pudding House Press A new book of poems, "White Sandals" is due from Sulphur River Literary Review Press this summer. She completed two summer residences in poetry at Warren Wilson College, and is a member of the Hudson Valley Writer's Center. She has lead poetry workshops for the Writer's Center and the Greenburg Council on the Arts, New York, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize severel times.  Poems forthcoming in Nimrod and Hotel Amerika this fall.

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