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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Millicent Borges Accardi


She would Abandon

It was futile this endless,

seeming to have no ending,

this seamless limit, eternal

a breakdown of the thick

distance between me

 

What is happening around you,

Stop. Pause. See eternal, a word which describes

what is washing over us,

dulled, and heavenly like a breakdown.

 

Only, the woman says,

He wasn’t your husband then

 

The thin sky

tells me to suspect that he is that

kind of Man

like my Father was, I think,

 

worlds muddle apart

conjoining and separating

in a new house where we only

 

imagine that peace will be different

here, different than they used to be.


I’ll Show you the Door

I am sure you will have problems

With it as I can tell when we talk

That you pause and grimace and

You will say the latch is too open

And needs a matchbook or a lever

Or a piece of cloth to hold it tightening

As the door meets the frame and

You will tell me there is a space of

Air between where the seal should

Be and we should be more together

Like we used to when we smoked

And joked. That we are more than

The strength of these days of comfort

And social distance and growing

Anxious over the closing walls

That leave space around where our

Hearts use to be. There was a time

When I could feel your skin when

I saw you in a doorway and then you

Would look inside the soul of my

Skin and I don’t care what it was that

Was happening but it would be all

Right and there would be no gap

Between the longing and the time

When we paused before it was all

Made wrong again inside the room

Where there is a new door installed

To keep out the rain from the gutter

Crack above the wooden frame above

And the guy who put it in painted the

Frame, sloppy like but it does not

Matter because we will cover it up

When the house is painted after the

Rain season when the wood won’t dampen

And we know we might be all right

Or maybe not and I know how it is

This time when I start again to feel that

Certainness around my skin just like I

Imagine it when there is a baby and the

Still of a long-ago-even time when we were both cut even.


Let the Wickedness of the Wicked

Come to us like a child looking for a way

Home, let the gullibility and narcissism

Lie flat inside us as if we were the lost

Generation in search a direct, unadorned

Sentence, a minute of skill that we both

Know is the opposite of trust. It is anguish

We know but barely understand or interpret

As elation. We sit in a dive, on Abbot Kinney

Before the elites took over and stopped the

Gangs and shootings, ferreting out the bad

Elements as they are called with another term

Named gentrification. It is with elation we

Are matched up and optimistic in this

Frame we steal, right before adult life

Is supposed to begin, before we stop

Being on holiday, drinking mint tea,

A gang of wayward writers, getting

Into other people’s business without

Knowing why. We laugh because

The stop watch has not tripped yet.

Because hunger allows us no choice,

Because failing to meet expectations is not a crime.

Moving from one point to another, we all know

We are not being as good as people say

We are. A pack of fools spending pocket money

And hours foolishly. For a brief moment,

We dismiss how things are going only to

Push aside our attempts to scatter and examine

Until later. Fall days are uneven and sparse.

We discuss and enforce our crime-imagined belief

System, at an age when anything is still possible.

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Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of four poetry collections, including Through a Grainy Landscape. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, CantoMundo, California Arts Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Covid grant), Fundação Luso-Americana and the Barbara Deming Foundation.


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