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Airea D. Matthews

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Airea D. Matthews is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection simulacra (Yale University Press, 2017), selected by Carl Phillips as the winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets. Matthews received an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she is currently the assistant director; she also serves as executive editor of The Offing. A Cave Canem Fellow and a Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, Matthews lives in Detroit.

by this poet

poem

When I mention the ravages of now, I mean to say, then.
I mean to say the rough-hewn edges of time and space,
a continuum that folds back on itself in furtive attempts
to witness what was, what is, and what will be. But what

I actually mean is that time and space have rough-hewn edges.
Do

2
poem

Oh Shepherd, our honeyed marriage
          bed in the meadow was too narrow
and though you herd wild things,
          you were deaf to my footsteps.
As you lay there in the dew of me, curled,
          satiated, I tiptoed backwards
toward our door under twisted reeds.
         

poem

I left our window open most nights.  A man with winged ankles would visit while you slept. He'd ask about my doings, how the syrah finished, noticed the dimple on my chin when I smiled, touched the thick swell of my waist, lightly. When the wind whistled like the Northeast Corridor, he'd tongue the small of my back