Jonathan Dubow lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He teaches developmental writing at Shippensburg University and has an MFA from the University of Alabama.
The following poems are from a manuscript called The Book of Esther as a Bear. Other poems from this manuscript have been recently published or are forthcoming in Chattahoochee Review, Grist, Waccamaw, and elsewhere.
Things that may be consumed raw
: honey, turmeric, ginger & sauerkraut.
: a lotus, the kaddish, herring, figs & luck.
: good weather, quitsa clams & basil stems.
: apples, peppers, grapeskin, autumn flowers & garlic.
: citron, paw paws, semen & feathers.
: eyelids, the weather’s voice & stubble.
: anticipation, dewberries & centella.
Twelve months come from fire.
Nights with brightness in their hands
scratch a cup shaped hole of time
to confuse and prevent death.
We feed them cheese and give them head,
and shred them in our teeth,
grab them by our hearts.
Keep them in mind.
Sometimes a night leaves its tail in our jaws.
Sometimes a month drops his face in our bones
but escapes with his life.
And every seventh year, no matter how,
we let our domestic animals out.
they dreamed of me
the river flooded
at the Y
so much it
There is none more open
than a tidepool.
You say, Maybe it was,
but I’ll say it was.
The blue catfish moves in
with its dozen odes
while I learn to salt roses.