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Idra Novey

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Idra Novey

Idra Novey is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including Exit, Civilian (University of Georgia Press, 2012), selected for the National Poetry Series by Patricia Smith, and The Next Country (Alice James Books, 2008). Her co-translations with Ahmad Nadalizadeh of Iranian poet Garous Abdolmalekian are forthcoming from Penguin Poets in 2020. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


by this poet



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Levinas asked if we have the right
To be        the way I ask my sons
If they’d like to be trees       

The way the word tree
Makes them a little animal
Dancing up and down
Like bears in movies
Bears I have to say
Pretend we are children


Dear C, I dropped

your sentence in hot water.
I talked to the boil. I said Here

is my thumb for you to burn.

Here is the soft heart
of my hand and my arm and

the nape of my wreck.

I said vapor, just take me.
I’m done burning