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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Stella Hayes

one more night to dismantle like a toy


another day to be folded up and put in a


a continent to put out of sight

another moon to unfill

one more vowel to blot out

from the page

another consonant to render useless

another veil to put over the eyes

a flurry of word-colonies

buzzing like fruit flies

in the ear

the tear duct at the ready

the iris filling up

scenes of you play out

I long to close my eyes

know that you are not in the dark

that I am

that I have my hand in yours

that you have not rubbed me

out with the pink eraser on the back of your pencil

on the page my sentences formed

more of vowels than consonants

hammer at the closed scabs

formed along the way from child to adult

on closer look

they reveal what made them

the removal of childhood

from genesis in one strange country

to the placement in another whose

language is uninflected and dominated by


my eyes are still closed

a scene supersedes

I see my mother in a handmade cotton


sorting through strawberries

I'm struck by her

we went in the shallow of the forest

to forage for lilies of the valley

the aromas of forest and perfume in my hair

our apartment filled with her

the plaintive boat ride on the pond

filled with large water lilies

do I dare

the scenes of you to unplay

the brain to anchor to anything at all

the water lilies to harvest

the hair to unpin the bed to unmake

to make a stranger of you


Russian-American poet Stella Hayes is the author of poetry collection One Strange Country (What Books Press, forthcoming in 2020). She grew up in an agricultural town outside of Kiev, Ukraine and Los Angeles. She earned a creative writing degree at University of Southern California. Her work has appeared in Prelude, The Indianapolis Review and Spillway, among others.


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