Three Poems by Lisa McCool-Grime

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September 2, 2009 by The Citron Review

Lisa McCool-Grime

Prayer Over Dinner

My hands lace together above the casserole.
My back makes a cradle for your belly.
You return to the folds of my left ear.

You hang there, tender as a quail feather.
Your jealousies have turned brown
under your nails. Who last licked
your fingers? you begged, stuffing
avocados with Brazil nuts and Gruyère.

I mention You owe me.
You almost hear about the stains
scrubbed from my linens after your last visit:
the oil and vinegar beaded into the shape of Orion
when your belt was undone
in the red pepper soup.

Hammer to the Mango Seed

–for Jeff

We took a hammer
to the mango seed.

Inside, the lining shone
white around nothing.

No crinkling of our brains
naked on the half shell.

No nested Russian dolls.
No pale and secret worm feasting

on nectar until strong enough
to burst through and die.

We picked over fragments
after sucking the seed clean.

How disappointed we were
to find nothing worth remembering.

Noah’s Wife Grieves

For now, let my protests
be the first before your God
to wash this patch of earth.

And when I fall to the ground,
hands cast into hammers,
driving my forearms into the dirt,
do not, mid-howl, bend me upright.

Moons and moons from today,
we will watch the smoke rise
above your bull and ram
stacked on the foreign altar.

For now, I have folded
your bedding into tight squares
and sealed your jars
of grain. The loom stands
with your daughters at the door.

Lisa McCool-Grime has been a featured reader at venues from North Carolina to California, from universities to bars to basements. She worked as a poet-in-residence in North Dakota, receiving a grant in 2008 to teach students ages 8 to 18. In December, she graduated with an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles where her poetry was nominated twice for the AWP Intro Journal Award. Her poetry has appeared in Napalm Health Spaand is forthcoming in the North Dakota Quarterly and Writer’s Dojo.

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