Poems by Lisa Ciccarello – The Feminist Wire

Poems by Lisa Ciccarello

from & if I die, make me how you are



It is the sister inside him

that makes him slow.


She writes the psalm he tries

to hold her back.


The blade is a proposal: how I

stayed inside my sister’s voice.







They called me a man

& I cut my hair.


I dream of having

this servant:

I drink from his hand

& his eyes return.


He said it was time to fight.

I stood still

& bled.


Had I loved him,

had we been equals?

He was bought for me.


I fought him:

he never opened his eyes.


He looked at things

like he was looking away.





Who can stand in your sight
when you have been wronged?


This blade.
My enemies.


A psalm is not a prayer.
It is not a power.


I am the true body
of my sister inside me.


I am ashamed to lift

up my face


& I will not be ashamed.







He doesn’t really love me.

In the field,

my driver looks away.


How simple we are

in these bodies

with this sheet between us.


Above us, the trees

are empty but

the train still runs.


I believe

even someone like me

can see you off

with my best smile


then take the kitten of this body

& put it in the lake.




bio pic fwLisa Ciccarello’s first book of poems, At night, is forthcoming from Black Ocean. She’s the author of several chapbooks, including the recent “Chief!” (InkPress). Her poems have appeared in Tin HouseDenver QuarterlyPEN Poetry SeriesHandsomePoor ClaudiaCorduroy Mtn., among others. She edits poetry at draft: The Journal of Process.

Ordering info: The chap & if I die make me how you are was put out by The New Megaphone.