Margo Berdeshevsky

Of Silk and Missive & Between Tree and Rocket
July 15, 2021 Berdeshevsky Margo

Of Silk and Missive


Did our adolescent lips heat once or more under one or many star falls between sands on a northern American peninsula—then? Recall. Between snowfall and crocus days now in my middle years a missive from some once-upon now-man-then-boy finds me — I think of you often, it says, didn’t we —


and I imagine for a minute’s car-crash I see his slender feet in sandals, did we meet in the atelier of the brother of famed Isadora— I who’d studied her dance when I was younger than the nubile me the mail evokes—faun-eyed high-kicker to be—I who’d rolled in sands and orgasm-ed with strangers


under bridges —later— played silent women on Broadway stages and written a poem whose first word was “clitoris”—later— I who’d twirled in tune with brave bold shocking Isadora— her acolytes teaching me to prance in her signature short silken tunics and bare toes and later, to love Dionysian


sandals— my long thin limbs naked, then —and did this middle aged missive-man hunt me in my middle years, didn’t he sell sandals in that peninsula town when we were— and didn’t I hunt for the signature sandals in that peninsula town of our adolescence and there met that boy turned wide


girthed older man who missived me in my middle years’ chase for anything named passion? In an archeologist’s gathering of detail like poison earth-gripped plants, did I find that Isadora had died between spokes of her car wheels and her long silk scarf caught in its turning — and didn’t I find


later in my hunt that wild and daring as she was in Paris where I wake today — Paris, with the crocus stabbing through not-yet spring— was he a kiss or more, I stumble memory in the dark, and the same man writes again to say yes he sold sandals in that long ago shop, and yes that is where we met,


and did I know — no I did not — that Isadora had bedded the heir of the Singer sewing machine company in 1906, heir who gave a black Rolls Royce to his lover, Isadora, fierce woman founder of barefoot modern dance in Paris, and their child died in tragedy when the chauffer-driven car plunged


into the Seine in 1913 —and in ’27 Isadora herself died strangled by her long, long silken scarf snagged in the wheel of a roadster on the sun-stained Riviera —and her brother crafted to-order sandals in her honor and sold them later on a peninsula— and—it was later told that on that roadster


ride she was departing for a tryst with a young race-car driver and that her last words were  Je vais à l’amour. Did I know a little or all of that. Between this winter’s snowfall and crocus forcing through chill I whisper have I ever loved, and where is my next stranger and did that sandal boy maybe, at least, I don’t remember, make me cry?





Between Tree and Rocket

They don’t distinguish between a tree and a rocket, a human and a pile of stones

Mosab Abu Toha—The Nation/ May 2021


When I stop at dusk’s window
the raven is hunting in the sparrow’s den
for her egg — food for his own nesting mate


The ovule falls      and breaks
the raven lifts — What was
a bird— is useless now to either.


Here night will rise as the super flower
blood ecliptic moon across its umbral
shadow of an earth, and dirt, and sun.


( Not noted in a desert where the bombs
spin — where skin can be seen from
hiding— before it lands on stones.


Or one torn silk voice of neighbor
killing kin— Dust, once stones,
—moonlit across its land. )


Here, a neighbor died alone in her one
room— found after a few or eleven
days— natural causes, not murdered then,


another neighbor mouths.
Folding news into its used silk shroud
—Torn note without music. —


When I walk out from my own
room—there’s the torn old man
masturbating on the street,
exposed flesh covered in wrinkled dust.


Against my birthday night I fold
and open and fold
ones who are not
distinguished as tree or rocket or stone.


Only hungry
for milk — for birth—for a nesting stone—.
A neighbor who folded alone




MARGO BERDESHEVSKY born in New York city, often lives and writes in Paris. Her latest collection is “Kneel Said the Night (a hybrid book in half-notes)” from Sundress Publications. “It Is Still Beautiful To Hear The Heart Beat” is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry.  Her “Before The Drought” is from Glass Lyre Press, (a 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.) Recipient of 2022 Grand Prize for Thomas Merton Poetry of the Sacred Award, other honors include the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her works appear in Poetry International, New Letters, The Night Heron Barks, Kenyon Review, Plume, Scoundrel Time, Cutthroat, The Collagist, Tupelo Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Southern Humanities Review, Harbor Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, The American Journal of Poetry, Jacar—One, Mānoa, Pirene’s Fountain, Big Other, Dark Matter: Women Witnessing, Bracken “Over Tea and Tears” for Ukraine, Vox Populi, among many others. In Europe and the UK, her works have been seen in The Poetry Review, PN Review, The Wolf, Europe, Siècle 21, Confluences Poétiques, Recours au Poème, Levure Littéraire, Under the Radar. She has read from her books in London, Paris, New York City, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and at literary festivals. Her “Letters from Paris” have appeared for many years in Poetry International online, for example:

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