Half-Past Eight

When you open up the door
she's smiling like a trick-or-treater

and for a moment you're not sure
if this is the babysitter

or a child who's come to play
from somewhere down the street, perhaps;

she looks so young, her hair that way,
a kool-aid stain around her lips.

She glances at her watchless wrist
then up at you, "I guess I'm late."

And suddenly you can't recall
(she seemed so grown-up on the phone)

if you asked her age at all.
But it's almost half-past eight –

you show her where the play things are
and run, kids screaming, to the car.

by Caitlin Doyle

Caitlin Doyle is currently the Writer-In-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, DC. She received her MFA from Boston University in 2008, where she was awarded the George Starbuck Fellowship in Poetry. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2006 as the Thomas Wolfe Scholar in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Measure, The Blue Collar Review, The Lyric, Hanging Loose Press, and others.

In His Beak an Olive Branchlisten

Come, chosen ones, admire the pigeon:
Urban and secular, he perches
On houses of religion—
Mosques and synagogues and churches.

He mounts the mane of Mark the Lion
But coos no Latin to the lambs;
Incognizant of Zion,
He occupies its hexagrams.

Pillared in aniconic space,
He rules his roost and cannot care
Which way the faithful face
Or what name hastens them to prayer.

Mecca, Jerusalem and Rome—
So much gibberish to a brain
Deprived of words for “home,”
“Hereafter,” “sacred” and “profane.”

Whichever God we summon as judge,
The pigeon can take no offense
And never bears a grudge.
Come, let us envy his innocence.

by Aaron Poochigian

Aaron Poochigian has recently completed translations, with introduction and notes, of Sappho's poems and fragments for Penguin Classics (due out Spring of 2009). His translations of Aeschylus, Aratus and Apollonius of Rhodes will appear in the Norton Anthology of Greek Literature in Translation (due out Spring of 09), and Johns Hopkins University Press will put out his edition of Aratus’ astronomical poem, The Phaenomena, with his introduction and notes, (Fall of 2009). His original poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Chronogram, The Dark Horse, Poetry Magazine, Raintown Review, Smartish Pace and Unsplendid.

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