It’s 3 AM. The crows on one leg or none are already starving for infant nests. A few leaves hang on
still. A prayer of godwits enters the dream from the upper left quadrant. No, I tell the dream-maker,


no, make it a lamentation of swans. The times demand it. Instead, I’m given an affliction of starlings
tearing the leaves that remain as they fly, and the dream is ruined. What’s real is in bed with me,


mounts me, slides in like a husband entering with the unquestioned privilege of his sexual
entitlement. Drowsy, I open my thighs to him, to it, to the day. To my habit of saying “Accept it, I’ll


die tonight,” each night when I pull the quilts for sleep, so that I can practice belief. The next day is
new. Always. Fair or fetid, bring with me only what I dare to remember. Opening new eyes, there is


the baby in her crib, her shape nothing I wanted. Waking is waking. What’s real is the child with her
badly sculpted brain, her damaged possibility of dream. What’s real is our day in a diseased year and


the baby has come out wrong. Blame it on the chemicals. Blame it on the sting of the genus Aedes
, white stripes on her legs, a marking in the form of a lyre on her upper thorax. Say that she


comes at dawn. What’s real is I was another one of the harmed, the infant, more so, but less harmed
than the worse harmed than we.


Awake, it is still beautiful to hear the heart beat, I repeat. A prayer of godwits hovers at my door.
I am so deeply awake.



* from After A Death, —Tomas Tranströmer


MARGO BERDESHEVSKY, born in New York city, often writes now in Paris. Her newest collection, Before The Drought, is from Glass Lyre Press (September 2017.) In an early version, it was finalist for the National Poetry Series. Berdeshevsky is author as well of Between Soul & Stone, and But a Passage in Wilderness (Sheep Meadow Press.) Her book of illustrated stories, Beautiful Soon Enough,  received the first Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Award for Fiction Collective Two (University of Alabama Press.) Other honors include the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America, a portfolio of her poems in the Aeolian Harp Anthology #1 (Glass Lyre Press,) the & Now Anthology of the Best of Innovative Writing, numerous Pushcart prize nominations. Her works appear in the American journals: Poetry International, New Letters, Kenyon Review, Plume, The Collagist, Tupelo Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Southern Humanities Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, The American Journal of Poetry, Jacar Press—One, among many others. In Europe her works have been seen in The Poetry Review (UK) The Wolf, Europe, Siècle 21, & Confluences Poétiques. A multi genre novel, Vagrant, and a hybrid of poems, Square Black Key, wait at the gate. She may be found reading from her books in London, Paris, New York City, or somewhere new in the world. Her “Letters from Paris” may be found in Poetry International, here:   

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