Becka Mara McKay
from THE DICTIONARY OF MISREMEMBERED ENGLISH
[GRAVEYARD WORKING: social gathering for the purpose of cleaning a cemetery]
Years ago I was a room, unprepared
for the renovations. The trapdoor
of my body unlatched and all the blueprints
burned. A cloud is room for holding
tomorrow’s weather. The sky is a room
for the education of orioles.
A bell is a room for warnings and ashes
are a room for the detonator’s dirge.
And so the explosions I escaped
in Jerusalem moved in next door
to haunt me. A cemetery is a room.
The sea, with its whales, is the room after that.
BECKA MARA MCKAY directs the Creative Writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University. Her chapbook of prose poems, Happiness Is the New Bedtime, was published by Slash Pine Press. Other publications include a book of poetry, A Meteorologist in the Promised Land (Shearsman), and several translations of fiction and poetry from Modern Hebrew.