National Poetry Month Day 3: “Refuge(e)” by Traci Brimhall, Translated by Erika Meitner



Emoji Lullaby

–Traci Brimhall



baby snowflake baby moon baby fortune
teller / sleep mother sailboat night-sky

time spirals to infinity
time curls like hair in the rain

baby cloud baby moon baby music
book lollipop rocket-ship skyscraper

i will wander the city without you
i will wander the city in search of you

with no devices to guide me
with no words, no sustenance, no transport

just add drama.  just add statues.  just add stone.
there are snakes in every circus / there’s a heart in every panda

baby star baby moon baby paw-prints
sunflower mother rowboat bridge

we will be tented refugees
we will be sacrificed to the fire gods

we will live in a red-roofed castle
until flocks of birds flee toward the mountains

just add recycled sunrise / just add recycled ballads
telescope violin newspaper checkered-flag

we will ride the moon down.  we will slide the golden edge
of somewhere indeterminate when our home

is destroyed.  carousel ferris wheel sheaves
of wheat—we glean only darkness from the fields

baby tether baby anchor baby home    full stop
baby shadow baby anger baby demon  full stop

to keep you from crying / to watch you sleep
to watch you sleep like a lantern on the ocean

to watch you sleep like leaves tossed on the wind
inverted, tucked in, bounded, squared away

–Erika Meitner


Traci Brimhall is the author of Our Lady of the Ruins (W.W. Norton, 2012), and Rookery (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010).

Erika Meitner is the author of four books of poems, including Copia (BOA Editions, 2014), and Ideal Cities (HarperCollins, 2010).

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →