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Monica Hand

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Monica Hand
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Monica Hand is the author of The DiVida Poems (Alice James Books, 2018) and me and Nina (Alice James Books, 2012), winner of the 2010 Kinereth Gensler Award. After a thirty-two-year career with the U.S. Postal Service, she received an MA in poetry and translation from Drew University in 2011. In 2012 she moved to Columbia, Missouri, to pursue a PhD at the University of Missouri. Hand received a fellowship from Cave Canem and served as a founding member of the poetry collective Poets for Ayiti. She passed away on December 15, 2016, in Columbia, Missouri. 


Monica Hand, P.O.P

Monica Hand, P.O.P.

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by this poet


With their many tongues, we were the one language
       they could each speak
Even the masters understood underneath hump and hale,
       labor of the load
We healed the numbing made

Even when she abandoned us for the music of bars and sex,
       you could hear


The translator undresses. Tries on the shape of the work she translates. Stuffs her new belly with his engorged sex. Tries not to re-write his words tries to give her self over to his syntax. In the end, she wears her same nakedness.

volcano spews ash
thick clouds that touch the heavens
cover her


their breath their sweat
especially when they are lying on top of you
or when they have fallen off of you and you are listening to them snore and fart
when they are your father stumbling up the stairs or passed out on the sofa