Monika Zobel

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

click here to read about the full project

is the writing in foreign
            letters. In a city that carves

directions to our dreams
             on headstones, subways

erase shadows like folded
             hands on tables. Patched

walls catch colds that last
             a century, while elevators

witness every fall, every
             rise with closed doors.

What did you do? You plucked
             shadows and reinvented

the history of bodies. We leave
             windows open as if body heat

could lock all our losses
             in a single touch. You confess:

the corners of your mouth
             were drawn for speaking.

But I could have sworn
             that the words you spoke

were full of clay and grapes—
             pockets stuffed with grief.

Where did you go? You were homeless.
             Alphabets blossomed on your toenails.

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.