Fall 2022, Volume 33

Poetry by Marjorie Becker

The Stash of Jewels Hiding Far Away Within the Purple Dense, the True Intense, So Come Around, the Ground Revives the Pawn Shop Near the Riverís Sigh, its Succulence

Peter Kahn returned to me; he’d found
a broken amethyst, oh he a sly

serene magician who had learned
the linings of my underworld where

just a sigh—the scenery of sighs and sight--
provided blues; the amethyst retained the

story of that long ago, that night when
Peter knew, renewed his lush desire for such

a moment, then another near the emeralds
and the rubies I had deeper, darker

wild retained from energies of sigh so close to
moments as momentous when we women

at the Purple Pawn decided there and then
to give away our themes for song, for

symphonies we somehow saw and then
began to wear the trove of gemstones

and wherever Peter stripped
away pretense, reminding me he’d

brought me back the sapphire lights I made,
the somehow night together we had

long ago chanced and danced within at dawn,
oh, melody . . .

Replete with Seers Singing Scheme, the Sapphire Light Itself Prepared a Theme, a Way to Wonder, Blunder, Ponder Flight as Generous as Porch Light When It Comes Around, Illuminates the Skies at Peace and Wild Prosperities Again, Again< and Once Again, Again

My cousin Trixie and I possessed the Purple
Unknown Pawn, a store where we continued there
to strip to inner notion of the dreams we read, the schemes we bred, the wilderness of cruelties we trained the broken men, the women full of fears to flee; we owned a song, a throng replenished all the sapphires we had claimed each time we simply sighed and
beckoned, reckoned depth within the pawn we gave away the
extra fried and okra we prepared to share, repair, maintain, as we were chefs as well as Jewish merchants there in Macon in the morning.



BIO: A Macon, Georgia native, Marjorie Becker has long lived in California and is an Associate Professor of History and English at USC.  She learned Spanish as a child, studied in Spain, and served in the Peace Corps in rural Paraguay.  She holds a Yale doctorate and is the author of three poetry collections, the most recent of which is entitled The Macon Sex School: Songs of Tenderness and Resistance.  Her poems and historical writing have been widely published.