Spring 2016, Volume 20

Poetry by Francesca Bell

Some Mornings

it rains
and I fall
running down
Coyote Hill
the earth soft
where I hit
with my hands
and face
and go on
not knowing
what will become
of my child
her racing pulse
her goodness
that does not
recognize itself
or my heart
the sieve
too much passes
even this daughter
I want small enough
to take in my arms
to hold the full weight
of her body again
as it burns
with a sickness
I can mend

Flailing/Not Flailing

I’ve heard the drowning
are normally silent,
often still.

Some succumb
at home—dry—
hours later.

What do lifeguards
watch for, blinking
back sun, bored?

Children sink
and bob,
sink again.

The pool closes
its clear door
over them.

Who can say
who’s failing,
who’s having fun,

what face
distress wears
beneath the water?




BIO: Francesca Bell’s poems appear in many journals, including B O D Y Literature, New Ohio Review, North American Review, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, and River Styx. She won the 2014 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle. Her translations from the Arabic, with Noor Nader Al Abed, appear in Berkeley Poetry Review, Circumference, and Laghoo.