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Melissa Buckhiet

Melissa Buckheit

Originally from New York and New England, Melissa Buckheit's debut collection, Noctilucent, was published by Shearsman Books in 2012, and a chapbook, Arc, by The Drunken Boat in 2007. Her poems, interviews, photography, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in VIDA: Women in the Arts, nth position, Fact Simile, Shearsman, Sonora Review, The Drunken Boat, Bombay Gin, Cutthroat and Blue Fifth Review, including her translations of the Modern Greek poet, Ioulita Iliopoulou. She is the curator of the Edge Reading Series at Casa Libre, teaches Writing & Literature at Pima College, and Aerial Dance at Zuzi Dance Co. She is also a dancer/choreographer and Massage & Bodywork Therapist. She lives in Tucson with her partner, Rebecca, and their son. (melissbuckheit.com)




From, A Concise History of the Female

“But please don’t cry— …
                          Beauty does not rest."                                                                        

                                        Anne Carson


What faith submits
my back a bridge for your feet
green ferns and day lilies over the pond
silver mirror and
inside the dark folds
smooth as stones,
the book
engages from suffering

Language unaccustomed from speech
malign me
I am not incremental
the flood as it imitates swallows
and I swallow but am not that
which is spoken of
grateful to be small
see the bodies as they float out to their graves
inside the tsunami

Her clitoris as it is cut out,
the light on the lintel as she is sewn
in the house of any village
sews my tongue
from the poem that breathes

In this urgency I speak to you, grieve,
make love—
the beautiful constellation of your brain
riding me into daybreak
a freedom past
unmanned bodies who have none, no sex left
have become liquid in the black dirt of a ditch
or only the words in my mouth,
speech through cotton

Originally published in Noctilucent, Shearsman Books, 2012

Photo by Rebecca Seiferle

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