To Our Sister, Lately of Pittsburgh
She wanted to be the first. She was. The black paper
with a contract incised into it—all gold leaf. I got
some lost. This is the farthest north I’ve ever been!
Muskol makes the arms gold—they shine on the edge
of Lake Melville. A black fly is afraid of its gleaming,
goes to ground in the dilapidations—the grasses gone
rot from a summer of black rain.
There is a rainbow over the pyramids of the north.
They are homemade, heaved up, the earth’s gut that
got out. Where we sits, trees bleached to bone,
the other day, our bellies to some erratic.
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Gnaomi Siemens is a poet and translator based in New York City. Her work can be found at Asymptote, Words Without Borders, The Believer, Slice Magazine, EuropeNow Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, Penny Thoughts (UK), and American Chordata, among others in the US and abroad. She has read her translations at The British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition in London, was selected by The Poetry Society of New York for a residency at the iconic Mid-Manhattan branch of The New York Public Library, and was a 2019 ALTA Travel Fellow.