Carolyn Forche

The Visitor

In Spanish he whispers there is no time left. It is the sound of scythes arcing in wheat, The ache of some field song in Salvador. The wind along the prison, cautious As Francisco’s

The Testimony Of Light

Our life is a fire dampened, or a fire shut up in stone. Jacob Boehme, De Incarnatione Verbi Outside everything visible and invisible a blazing maple. Daybreak: a seam at the curve of the


The page opens to snow on a field: boot-holed month, black hour The bottle in your coat half voda half winter light. To what and to whom does one say yes? If God were

The Colonel

What you have heard is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His Daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the Night. There were

The Garden Shukkei-en

By way of a vanished bridge we cross this river As a cloud of lifted snow would ascend a mountain. She has always been afraid to come here. It is the river she most

The Morning Baking

Grandma, come back, I forgot How much lard for these rolls Think you can put yourself in the ground Like plain potatoes and grow in Ohio? I am damn sick of getting fat like

Poem For Maya

Dipping our bread in oil tins We talked of morning peeling Open our rooms to a moment Of almonds, olives and wind When we did not yet know what we were. The days in