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About this poet

Nomi Stone’s second collection of poems, Kill Class, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2019. She is also the author of Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly Books, 2008). Stone is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Vermont Studio Center and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She teaches anthropology at Princeton University and lives in Philadelphia.

The Door

Goats mewling
in the Muslim village.
Leafy footpath
into the bodiless acre
of graves. Pass.

Animals:
goats
chickens (a fury, a pack)
one pig (Salma)

Instructors measure our fervor.
Your machine must cover
the kill zone    100%    Notate this fever    Carry

the lure of the apple.
Where are you Salma? Little ache
of sky. Killing
Field inside, branches latched. Arbor, what is beyond
this wood?

Anthropologists practice at the circling
pinwheels of faces; those at war are matchless.

Laith has skulls and flags flesh graven.  In the war, L
worked with the Americans    So did O. / so did H. / so did
_____.
                       We split and cast away
          salt seeds over the needles.
          Get more at the gas station a mile outside. Outside,
          there are bursting cotton bolls,
molecule to sepal
sepal to stalk
blowing their little snow over
the red clay. Out there,
a gas station    breathing roads

Even you, dear you; you
have been waiting a long time
for me, haven’t you?
Take this road into the body / return it
as a love
letter. Body
a simmering lake
of code, nutrient,
wishing. In Arabic,
there is a word that means the cleaving
from dormancy or sorrow
into first joy.
Or, the arriving
mouth of the messenger.
It is right on the other side of this wood.

Copyright © 2016 Nomi Stone. “The Door” originally appeared in Guernica. Used with permission of the author.

 

Copyright © 2016 Nomi Stone. “The Door” originally appeared in Guernica. Used with permission of the author.

 

Nomi Stone

Nomi Stone

Nomi Stone's second collection of poems, Kill Class, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2019. 

by this poet

poem

What I meant is that when the child shook the branch,
the beetles, quiet, somnolent, darkly, fell and again fell
like plums. Once woken, they bzzzed towards
the street lamps, loving each light well, thwacking
against them until they landed face down or face
up, trying to find their feet,

poem

Sunlit and dangerous, this country road.
We are follicle and meat and terror and

the machines leave their shells naked on the ground.
One soldier makes a museum in his basement.

Each mannequin in brass, incombustible coats:
I am walking between their blank faces,

their bullets

poem

In a dream, two lovers’ thighs scythe
around each others’ centers.
Spring again!

            A scientist grafts eyes
            onto the tails of blind tadpoles.
            It works. The proof


is the tadpoles can now follow
rotating optical patterns. Nervous systems