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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.

Wonder Days

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, reminding me of Eve’s face
as a baby when she tried to lift her head on her stem
of a neck before yet she could. Upon the child’s shoulders,
beetles landed, kinging him. The dusk’s gray mute
unfolded its scrolls, while his mother made toast
with boysenberry jam, his father played solitaire,
and think of his sister doing her biology homework.
But they are under the tree, he is, the bright ones falling
upon him like stars, and as they fall, he names them:
some doctors, some cooks, depending on the size
of their antennae. His face was a diary of leaves: dark,
lit, risen with laughter, then suddenly at rest. This
was one way to be inside the world rather than outside
looking into a bright window.

Copyright © 2017 Nomi Stone. “Wonder Days” originally appeared in New England Review. Used with permission of the author.

 

Copyright © 2017 Nomi Stone. “Wonder Days” originally appeared in New England Review. 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

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

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

poem
Soldiers collect & number:
pigment, hair, jade,
roasted meat, timber,
cum. The enemy’s
flute; the face

of an enemy
as he holds his young;
the enemy’s face the moment
it’s harmed. The woods

are a class in what
they can take. The country
is fat. We eat
from its side.
2