Poetry by Martha Silano

 Read More: A brief interview with Martha Silano

Questions for a Shadow

Who is she?
Do you agree?
Does she come from the pit or the surface epidermis?

Who buried her?
Is she more like an olive or a caper?
Did she burrow unnoticed, or did you ignore that creepy-crawly twitch?

Whether or not she swooned: does it matter?
Was she the wasabi pea of faux pas?
Did she travel to places like Tasmania

before the last white-lipped snake
was gobbled up by a cane toad? When it began
to rain, how’d she like the leeches?

Is she bitter? Is she precise? Is she toasted or raw?
Does she primp? Was she willing to gift her left earring?
Is her face a jinx?

Did she track down mud in the Mojave?
Will she beat her father to hell?
When the fight is over, will she still be punching?

Will her wolves be sated while her sheep graze?
Do mushrooms sprout in her mouth?
Does her thief’s hat burn?

Was she hit in the nose for asking?
Kicked for being alive?
Did he catch her like a fly in his fist?

Did they spoil her with butter and limes?
How come they could not catch her
like wind in a net?




of spring
of twig
of branch
of edge

under the authority of
thou liquid song
from across the stream
of thou newly leafed-out larch […]

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Martha Silano’s poetry books include Reckless Lovely, The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, and What the Truth Tastes Like. Mission Boulevard, her new full-length collection, will appear from Saturnalia Books in early 2019. She also co-edited, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, and New England Review, among others. Martha teaches at Bellevue College.

 Read More: A brief interview with Martha Silano