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Poem of the week: “You Look Like I Feel” by Natalie Shapero

By Natalie Shapero

Dirt on my chin and I wonder: am I already

in the ground? Like a toy turned real, I cannot shed

the sense that I have died. The German word

 

for Heaven’s the same

 

as the German word for sky. On hearing a cruel

prince was in danger, I prayed for him to thrive,

not for his own sake, but for the concubines,

 

sure to end up buried

 

along. To my real face, a man once crowed

I RUINED YOU, and though he did, the joke’s

on him: he ruined me only for this world,

 

and this world is not long

 

for itself. The Earth, that ever-loving

but distrustful kin, keeps leaving us just a little

pocket money when it dies, never the land – Contributor’s Note: NATALIE SHAPERO will join poet and fiction writer Janet McNally, the indie-rock band Difficult Night and visual artist Jaime Schmidt in this month’s Silo City Reading Series event at 7 p.m. Saturday at Marine A Elevator, Silo City Row, Ohio and Childs streets. She is the professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor-at-large of the Kenyon Review. Her first collection of poems was “No Object,” was published by Saturnalia Books in 2013. This poem was originally published in Poetry. Her second collection is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.