To Begin at Breath

Monika Zobel

Excerpted from On the Corner of Guilt and Ash, Anomalous Press Chapbook Contest Notable

click here to read about the full project

When words march into the city,
            children are the first
to clap their hands:

            a war fought with being
imported by the German
            ich war, ich weiß. Was is

the most destructive
            weapon, as in:
a leg was a terrible mistake

            When I climbed a tree
for the first time, nails
            already curled in my coffin.

Wind cracked the porcelain
            knuckles of fruit. How it drummed
in the heart of a root.

            Trees are shelters and wounds—
The longest fall occurs
             between leaf and leaving.

Monika Zobel's poems and translations have been published or are forthcoming in Redivider, DIAGRAM, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, Drunken Boat, Guernica Magazine, West Branch, Best New Poets 2010, and elsewhere. A Pushcart nominee, senior editor at The California Journal of Poetics, and Fulbright alumna, Monika lives in Vienna, Austria.