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"Sweet Tidings," by Heidi L. Kirkpatrick


I stand before the little square history
of my cutting board: beet stain, parsley
mark, garlic in the grain that infuses
anything cut open, left soft-side down.
The news for once is droll, drawn out
in Kentucky drawl: karst collapses
to engulf eight empty cars whole. It happened,
in a moment, it just happened. The earth
pays no heed to museums, has no seat
set aside for the Muses, and so go
vintage Corvettes, fuzzy dice dropping
into a void. How many times has apology
rimmed my mouth like lipstick? This is not
what I meant to tell you, the same old
kitchen sink, mold, the blooming mold.
But I am sick of thinking that normal
is writ, that I should resist, that it even exists.
Without a doubt, this is happening.
And I open my mouth to accept
the fact of these onions, their sweet
translucency on my tongue, how easy
it is to take this, and my throat 
simply caves in to the taste.

Mira Rosenthal reads “Swallow”

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Mira Rosenthal

Mira Rosenthal is the author of The Local World and translator of two books by Polish poet Tomasz Rózycki. She has received numerous awards, including an NEA Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, and the Northern California Book Award. She is Assistant Professor of Poetry Writing at Cal Poly.