Poetry — November 19, 2012 12:47 — 0 Comments

Two Poems – Mariya Deykute


This sea could
erase edges, scour

blemishes, bleach
offensive color

into bone, make me
something to wash

up in the surf, to be
picked up, marveled

at, the delicate
swirls, something

to fit into a pocket –
taken home in a green

plaid suitcase,
deposited on a shelf.

maybe a child
will cup a careless

hand, wonder what
I was before I was

so soft and round
and easy to hold.

maybe a dog will growl –
the smell of the sea

always suspicious.




The Hour of Held Breath


The coyotes on the lawn are plotting a howl.
A rattling man with a mop dusts the piano key stairs,
the soda machine hums a warmth.

A luminous comet flies from the airport: seed pod, bird with root intestines, hundreds soft souls.
Everything slips beyond the curtain. I can hear the library dreaming words and the wind disintegrates
syntactical ghosts across the campus, bothering leaves.

All moths are free in the dark but the beached shell beckons with glass light that seeps into charcoal
trees. Moths unfold from tree skin. Their whiskered hands unfurl, bloom, spread like crumpled grass
after Something passes over it, enormous, unseen.

In a dark cloud rush they rush the moon.
In sound without sound in collarbone hollow in the coccyx howl.


Thin sounds beetle down the walls, in the brickwork a treacherous sigh.
I am most alive in these unshareable maladies. Something is coming.

Maybe it’s bedtime for ghosts. In this hour, after all the stories have been told. My fingers smell of
turpentine, lintseed, cigarettes, salt. I am forgetting my name. There is a breath from someone on the
other side of the screen.

This is the hour Something peeks into the nursery to watch us with a smile and count our milkteeth in
His jam jar.


From the lunar windows the ground is treacherous, a quicksand of shadows.
A comma woman walks past the bay under malformed streetlights.

In brown muck of the bay there are rivers made by an invisible rowboat.

No one notices when it glides away from the pier, past the lighthouse with its muttering keeper,
to the unformed shores on the other side of the map.

The passage is damp, the fog wisps and covets
the taste of gold forced into each mouth.



Mariya Deykute was originally made in Russia, aged for eleven years in select small towns and then imported for further refinement into Brooklyn, New York. She attended Brooklyn College, majored in archaeology and spent a lot of time thinking about ghosts, Viking-age sheep bones and Indiana Jones. Since then she's lived in Montreal, Jerusalem, St. Petersburg and New Mexico. She now attends UMass Boston; climbs trees; writes musicals and plays; teaches poetry and literature and sails on tallships. She has no plans to grow up. Her poems have appeared in Other Rooms Press, Meat for Tea and Inkspill and are forthcoming in Front Porch and Amethyst Arsenic.

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What am I?

Bioluminescent eye
That sees by the shine
Of its own light. Lies

Blind me. I am the seventh human sense
And my stepchild,

Scientists can't find me.

Januswise I make us men;
Was my image then—

Remind me:

The awful fall up off all fours
From the forest
To the hours…

Tick, Tock: Divine me.

-- Richard Kenney