Sunday Jul 14

HuenerSarah Sarah Huener received her BA from UNC Chapel Hill and her MFA from Boston University, after which she traveled in Croatia and Israel as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow. Sarah's recent work can be found in StorySouth, The Collagist, New Delta Review, the Greensboro Review, Salamander, and in the North Carolina volume of the Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press, 2015). She was named the winner of the 2016 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize for her poem "To Pluto," and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sarah reviews poetry for the North Carolina Literary Review.



I thither went
With unexperienc’d thought . . . to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me seem’d another sky.
—Paradise Lost, Book IV

 They’d shifted—        where the floor used to be

sun-shielded, covered
by pew legs, kneeler feet,

now were strokes of deep red                         plush, virgin

pile exposed in patterns
like pictographs          I read over
and again but did not

understand— language
of light, all symbols.

everywhere else, the ground   was bland, stained
almost white by sun

until my child-eyes saw          a vivid line
of diffraction

angled through threadholes
in the window blinds, a rainbow
on dusty plush             not sky, laying

itself out:         a set of watercolors:

bright and straight and dry.


I didn’t wear a watch that week. I measured
time by shadow and didn’t measure

when the sun went down. I caught you writing
on my arm with your finger. My name

is simpler in your language, traced lightly
by your left hand. It seems strange I did not know before

which hand you use to write. When the man blessed us
in Jerusalem we held out opposite wrists

for the red string. Now we are a mirror.
We understand everything we say

except the names of fruit. I’d never eaten אפרסמון
so we looked it up— persimmon,

the lotus of Odysseus. You showed me how to hold it,
see if it gives, ripe. Every second slice

was mine, the flesh shining, shot through
with fibers, tasting like the moon.

You taught me home: בית.
When the sun was down, I measured in fruit

and wrote with shadows. Now my name grows
long again. The hands of my watch are moving.


That was a good bar, that was our bar,
now it’s closed and we have matchbooks
we never light and stories we only tell
each other-- is this how it
starts? Waking up, feeling

nothing in particular? Turning
the seams of our lampshades
to face the wall? I seem comfortable here

and maybe I am. I lent you a scarf I lent
you money I lent you my shoes that night
and I want nothing back. No: I want

your arms sometimes and seeing a note
I left you a year ago
on your fridge yesterday. Love is not

a crux. It’s a smudged glass on the table, a fur coat
I put on four times, a sheet set worn smoother than air.

You’ll maybe move somewhere far away, I’ll maybe
move somewhere far away, just let me
buy us a drink before you go. That way you look
up from the table at me
for the tiniest amount of time
then away and finish what it was you’re saying