Larissa Szporluk


You can be taught
the happiness of heaven
after your long unquiet writhe
on earth.
Heavenly joy
means growing backwards,
back into the flower
who fully received the lord.
The white anemone on Jungfrau
is your virginity in storage;
you’re heading for it now,
purity and beauty,
after charity and family
made you old.
On a hot July night,
any minute, a gross and pungent
dust from hell
will ambush you with memory—
your broad unblinking face
repeatedly made love to,
and you’ll see children rolling forward,
odorless and moist with snow.

Trance Logic

Robbers love clouds
because clouds hide their heads
like breasts. Sick love
serves both ends.
Clouds love theft.
If they’re good to the evil,
they’re evil to the good.
Sometimes my naked arm
breaks great rocks
or crushes bones into atoms.
In the other life,
a lake that is strangely bright
looks like it stole.

Larissa Szporluk was raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan and earned degrees at the University of Michigan, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns fellow. Her books of poetry include Dark Sky Question (1998), which won the Barnard Poetry Prize; Isolato (2000), winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize; The Wind, Master Cherry, the Wind (2003); Embryos and Idiots (2007); and Traffic with Macbeth (2011). She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and currently teaches at Bowling Green State University.

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