What I Wished For

Me, as a flag iris. A.k.a., wild.

Me, spending a year with my father’s yellowing files, his yellowing eyes.

Me, in a bog.

Me, with some of me gone.

Me, beside Coreopsis, beside clouds.

The me of remember, of my uncle’s clarinet, notes coasting toward Bleeding Hearts.

Me, passing from now to between, from refusing needlework
to welcoming the electricity of the sentence, homonyms, and rhyme.

Me, which has no synonym.

Me, like a weevil in the skunk vine.

Me, distantly, like a magnificent frigate bird high above a pier.

Me, always on the verge of reappearing with the answer: the great egress.

Oh, to be planting luster. Oh, to be weeding the caveats. Removing
each squawking, rusty ache.

To bore into a pond, break to the surface with a hurray fish.

My wishes like a promised sandbox I made good on. Made good on,
then smothered with a bed of haricot verts.

What I wished for was to be more like the blue daze of napping
in the middle of the day, the Johnny-Go-to-Bed-at-Noon.

I wished for a lifetime of Saturdays, though Mondays were my secret love.

Me, with seaweed hair.

For an abundance of bougainvillea, one small handful of tasks.

For departure’s opposite, an undying slice, not too salty, not too robust.





Martha Silano’s most recent poetry collection is Gravity Assist (Saturnalia Books, 2019). Previous collections include Reckless Lovely and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, also from Saturnalia Books. Her poems have recently appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Copper Nickel, among other publications. Honors include the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize and The Cincinnati Review’s Robert and Adele Schiff Award. Martha teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, Washington.

Latest Issue

Issue 90

More In This Issue