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Feeding the Koi

Fear had carried my life, / and I was still afraid.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday, poetry
May 16, 2023

I turned thirty-four and it was spring.
The distant war

we had thought would end
did not end. My friends

were busy trying to get pregnant,
making love on schedule.

I visited my neighbor’s
water garden at dusk.

Below the pond’s mirror:
a school of jewel-like koi, weaving

and rifting. I wondered
whether I was

a dutiful daughter
or coward, whether returning

to Jericho would make a mess
of everything.

Fear had carried my life,
and I was still afraid.

As I scattered pellets
into the dark, the koi shot

beyond the floating plants
to where the food fell.

Later, from my bedroom window,
I watched the moon set

with my heart in my mouth—
its longing, a tenderness.

Reprinted from The Corrected Version (Diode Editions, 2023), with permission from the author and the press.