3 poems by Deborah Poe – The Feminist Wire

3 poems by Deborah Poe


The Mourners


some, hooded, hide their faces hands inside their sleeves


some, uncovered, wipe their tears, brood in fabric’s fold


mourning lasts for months                           . loss persists


this contaminated gloom-gesture-moaning           . bridge


open mouths       .  too      . impelled to sing       . or scream



Foundation, Choctaw Street, 2010


To think of naming’s violence, retrospection’s weight

To think of time, all that was taken

To think of today (pale blue sky)


Have your shadows relieved the blood path?

Have you gathered the future vertical broken seam?

Have you welcomed those new constructions?


To think what living braced before your migration

before city became something other

Then to think you and I did nothing

To think how we remained fleeting darkness


Today pavement’s white heat memory

The past, clarity’s brief pockets

If the future is this fissure river, your life lines elsewhere.




Les Feuilles Mortes


what there is not, love, is sun

but memories’ casualties

curtain billows

only for slight light to rift

along with few autumn leaves

more gold in their intrusion


a rug both plant and animal

you rise above—

chest’s five arches open—

oh the androgynous fashion

the way one is drawn in


sitting one foot forward

cleavage of body and matter

I wind the yarn tied invisibly to the center of you

what breaks out is birds


faceless grey shadow

moss pockets memory floor to ceiling

walls semi-soundproofed

curtains motion soundless

noise a bloodshed recollection

leaves admit and defy at once


ghost disclosures

continue this conversation

on empty chair, bench, mantel


in the heart of the room,

I pulled at the center of you,

and life came spilling out.




The following art pieces about death were points of departure for the poems included here:

The Mourners, Jean de la Huerta, Antoine le Moiturier, from the Tomb of Due John the Fearless and Margaret of Barvara, 1443-1456.

Foundation, Choctaw Street, Sarah Van Der Beek, 2010. After Walt Whitman. 

Les Feuilles Mortes, Remedios Varo, 1956.


deb poe

Deborah Poe’s books include the last will be stone, too (Stockport Flats Press 2013), Hélène (Furniture Press 2012), Elements (Stockport Flats 2010), and Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008). She has several published chapbooks, most recently Keep (above/ground press 2012). Deborah also co-edited Between Worlds: An Anthology of Contemporary Fiction and Criticism (Peter Lang 2012). Her writing has recently appeared in Handsome, CoconutShampooTurntable & Blue Light, seventeen seconds, and Denver Quarterly. For more, please visit

To visit Stockport Flats, publisher of the last will be stone, too, go here.

To buy the last will be stone, too, go here.