The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

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Three Poems by Martina Reisz Newberry

A LITTLE GLINT, A SLASH OF COLOR 

The apartment is so still just now. 

It is cool and gray outside. The news 

speaks of spring, but that seems like a lie

as so many things do these gray days. 

 

The cats, 8 paws touching, are asleep

on our bed. They release everything 

when they sleep. The city is awake 

but quiet. Lawns and dandelions 

 

are the same, concrete and asphalt are the

same, glass doors and windows are the

same. I will pretend that the cells of 

my body are sunlight making the 

 

dishwater sky show a little glint, 

a slash of color. The truth is a 

rebuke because, in truth, my body 

is a box emptied of secrets and 

 

emptied of the slim, crescent moons of my

dreams. That said, I have always loved

pretending. The cells of my body 

will have to ignore the realness 

 

of another year about to pass, 

the dreary fear of what comes after, 

the mirror image that is not, can 

not be right. I’ve learned so much less than 

 

I thought I would, garnered less respect

than I hoped for. My underground is 

rising to the surface. I defer to 

what I have become and admire all 

 

that I am not. I’ve been given a 

quiet day; I will give up “what ifs,” 

I will give up what I know is true, 

pretend color and music then—shine.

 

WHAT IS 

Stars are white moths. 

They chew through the night sky 

until it is eaten up–more holes than sky

and then it is morning again. 

 

Fire is every love affair lost. 

It burns through bodies, 

leaves ashes waiting for 

a Phoenix to rise and take flight 

 

Water is sound. 

Words tumbling over each other, words speaking

to words, flashing silverback at the sky, dousing

rocks and souls, hands and mouths. 

 

Earth is a ravenous animal. 

It devours everything that steps on it: 

rain, petals, lightning, footsteps, spit, tears, blood.

All that touches it becomes a banquet.

 

Wind is the reminder of love, 

of grief, of fear, of longing, of pain, of lungs

filling with the breath of need to speak truly, the

ability to carry what moves below the canyons.

 

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK IN UGANDA*

If mountain gorillas could write, 

it would be as if scripture were written on rocks, 

as if wastelands could turn tall weeds 

into strands of gold, 

as if nights and days are of equal darkness, 

as if the large silver globe is not the moon 

or a newly-discovered star, 

as if words spilled from their mouths 

and sailed on the ocean like frightened exiles, 

like tumultuous multitudes of gulls. 

 

*A protected national park for Mountain Gorillas in Africa

“Ode, Node, Anode” by Alan Cohen

The fall, drop, break
of peach white froth
sparkling translucent curtain
screening out sun
14 stories, three seconds
from bed to bed
from yesterday
deep into an unlabelled narrow chasm of the past
hypnotizes five visiting on-, through-, and over-
lookers
who, passing under the fall’s lip
behind the water
perpendicular
put out hands to touch
fondly recalling personal crises

Two taboo white birds skim the surface
Floating back upstream

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