Pantea Karimi © 2017 All Rights Reserved


Life experience doesnít matter
that set of overly specific
imprints where nothing lifts
back to its original position

Seeking once to understand
the placid stars and weird
pastels guiding his decisions
I opened up my fatherís

journal and found only
mind-numbing daylight
some notes about Europe . . .
The so-called

clarity of lastingness
trains of chance events afford
feels obvious and bare
like a lapse in judgment

Give me just those few
blank pages toward the back
where birds and trees
can at last collide in peace



Some people have a destiny   others
seem not to   How low on the list
of species do you need to travel
before existence becomes an on/off

proposition?   An average house sparrow
lasts long enough maybe to memorize
the seasons twice   flicking aside brush
for its young to discern on its own

Maybe Iíve fallen in love with my cousin
and so ordinary things seem dumb
hallway after hallway   the same
oddly-timed coincidences and the same

international markets receding into absentia
while Nature inserts its usual So what
To believe no crisis exists other
than what is felt internally

could be interpreted as deeply
myopic   but no crisis exists
other than what is felt internally
Birds come in broad strokes   as do

refugees and sociological peoples
Whereas God has probably numbered
the hairs on my head   the number itself
has all but proven too mundane to notice

Michael Homolka
Copyright © 2017  

Michael Homolka is the author of Antiquity, winner of the 2015 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry from Sarabande Books. His poems have appeared in publications such as the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, Antioch Review, Agni, and Poetry Daily. A graduate of Bennington Collegeís MFA program, he currently teaches high school students in New York City.

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