An international quarterly founded in 1965 featuring fiction, poetry, and memoir by some of the world's best writers along with fresh essays, columns and reviews on literature, art, and politics. 

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"Ma Jolie"
by Daniel Kraines

A checkered curtain drawn across the window
holds the street out of view but lets

the wind in under its fringes.
Long hair draped over the back of your shoulder,

next to you I lie afraid to take a corner
of the blanket from your fearsome, naked

body, lioness, after months
of reciting your name

to myself, name of a Picasso.
Ma Jolie. A small gap in your front teeth.

Pinned across the wall,
mysterious to me, panels of a print unfolding,

intricate weave of ink threaded in and out
of itself: the patterned wings of a dark monarch.

In the yard, the metal workers have left
their scraps to rest.

Necklaces hang over the corner of the bedpost.
The yelp of a dog behind the door.

You waved the blanket over my head to cool
me while I pleased

you further and further until
you’d had enough.

Beyond the bed, a tall, oak white closet.
A box marked photos. Another: memories.

What will you feel when you wake to the sun
beating against the white walls of your room?

—in Salmagundi No. 177 (Winter 2013)

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