Poetry — February 14, 2013 13:16 — 0 Comments

What Hodan Tells Me – Susan Rich

Everyone knows
for $80 you can become a Somali citizen
with a blue passport
a diplomat for not much more.
The American Embassy woman confides,
“You are going to suffer culture shock
but The Bold and Beautiful will help.”
I thought I’d die by bullets
and then I thought I’d die by air.
If you can’t be a mountain
attach yourself to one.


Susan Rich is the author of three collections of poetry, The Alchemist’s Kitchen (2010) named a finalist for the Foreword Prize and the Washington State Book Award, Cures Include Travel (2006), and The Cartographer’s Tongue / Poems of the World (2000) winner of the PEN Award for Poetry. She has received awards from The Times Literary Supplement of London, Peace Corps Writers and the Fulbright Foundation. Individual poems have appeared in the Harvard ReviewPoetry International, and The Southern ReviewHouse of Sky, her fourth book, is due out from White Pine Press in 2015.

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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