Rena Priest


Your name makes a sound
like a dropped spool
bouncing on a sunlit floor.

Gwendolyn, Gwendolyn.

I repeat it to myself while I sew.
Lost in it, my needle surprises me,
emerging from the seersucker sleeve in my lap.

Whose hands are these? I am losing buttons.

I have seen you looking at me,
as if you know its me
whos been sanding the prayers

from the prayer wheels in your shrine;

carving lurid desires in their stead.
desires unraveling my nights while I spin in my bed,
desires saving the world from sickness and death

sickness and death which exist less and less,

now that all day my eyes eat shine, and my body
is nourished by drums and bells, and my soul
-- what else tastes to it

like something unrequited?

Yet, I have seen you over there
looking at meup from your embroidery
every now and then a glance

and your hands forget the thread.

Rena Priest is a poet immersed in the plenitude of words swirling around New York City. She has been a featured reader in the Perfect Sense Reading Series, and will appear as the featured reader in The Distinguished Writers Series to celebrate National Poetry Month 2010. Her work has appeared in At-Large magazine, and is forthcoming in Diagram. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is presently completing her first full-length book of poems.

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