epigenetics or: time draws a circle

which summer is this
             arithmetic is one thing, freckles another
                  power drags from the east in a late august storm
                                the grassbends like earth’s gymnasts
                                             how their hands are too silent for anumber
                                                           always pucker straight on the dismount
                                             which tongue is this in
                                nadziejais one thing, hope another
                  anna orders meat at a counter
              in her mouth, a song picked up at the company store
                  we pretend it was the baron who saved us
                                pass thenarrative, the only heirloom
                                             between me and then, between factoriesfull
                                                          of our women and men charred from the pulse
                                                                   of earth, all there is—   the distance between night
                                                                                     -mares and perseverance
                                                                       which equation is this
                                                          winter is an empty path, grandmother another
                                              the cold bends like a map
                                many womenbefore me cannot refold
                  their hands waiting in line, cobbled latitudes of time
                                whosestory is this
                                              my mother’s is one thing, eva’sanother
                                                           with pork bones in our mouths
                                                                we suck the narrative dry and soft as far aswe can
                                                                               the grass is still, the mines are closed
                                                                                              i split what isleft with my tongue
                                                                                                      the sound against my teeth
                                                                                                                     still asong


June 2, 2021

nicole v. basta

nicole v basta's poems have found homes in Ploughshares, Waxwing, The Journal, Heavy Feather, Birdfeast, Tinderbox, Ninth Letter, etc. She is the author of the chapbook V, the winner of The New School's Annual Contest. nicole is also a collage artist, a teaching artist, a three time artist-in-residence of Art Farm Nebraska, and an Assistant Poetry Editor at ANMLY. Find more here: nicolevbasta.com

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