Hope is the thing with

Martha Silano

an important message, a pressing urgency
I reckon Hope’s entitled to. Hope says Hello,

my dear, and it goes from there: how are you,
hope you’re well, bit hot over here in Burkina

Faso, then Hope’s done with asking after
my chargers, my panes, the windstorm nudging

my touch-and-go, has no time for me
or my closely-monitored percolations. Hope’s

not perched; she’s pouncing, marooned
to the tune of $4.5 million. But Hope’s right:

her choosing me is a question she knows
she must answer. And big surprise: the Almighty

willed it, decided against her two sadistic aunts
because, Hope says, I’m different, won’t sell

her dead mom’s home to a Mr. Molson Steven
(though who can say for sure?). Hope’s favorite

language? Waiting to hear you soonest. Hope’s
solution: hide behind a bush so when I call

she can answer, or whatever (it’s against the law).
Just like staying in the prison, says Hope before

signing off in the name of a nearby privilege,
in the name of what I need from you is this.

The Poet is the Priest of the Invisible

—Wallace Stevens

Dark-eyed, mysterious Meadowhawk,
the poet is the rabbi of the diaphanous,

scribe of the sheer, the barely-there
brief, pungi of the five o’clock shadow,

hint of rosewood and ghost. The poet
preaches a thin-barked willow sermon;

what she labors over is always prone
to sunscald, to scrutiny, its veins

visible through the skin. Gossamer
goddess, translucent muse, she lofts

a gauzy lug wrench toward the shadowy
freeway, where the alphabet—each of its

limpid clauses, each hyaline verb—
has once again broken down, needs a lift.

Back to top ↑

Sign up for Our Email Newsletter