Ten Poems by Neeli Cherkovski

while these windows fall
I will build
a forest in the grass
of Washington Square
where we wandered arm in arm
worrying about splendor
and what it means
to share a bed

forgive branches
growing from my dreams
as I curve my body
toward the confusion
of anguish
falling out of you

windows call to doors
in the hollow of a mother's anger
in the dreadnought of vision
and slam shut
when you turn from me
facing that which I fear

smooth slender hips
of woman I will never be