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Poem of the Week: Unnatural Acts by Anne Elezabeth Pluto

Unnatural Acts

By Anne Elezabeth Pluto
Great, great, great


you lie in ice

layers of Russian

winter, in sleep

I travel miles

countries by foot

to reach the night

of your grave

in the Catholic part

of the cemetery

I dig through

snow, ice, break

my nails to scratch

open the pine box

cracked wooden

ornament of time

its silence startles even

me, and you are there

precious bone wool suit

dried red flowers

mark the space that was

your heart - pearls fused

to gems, a rosary

where I am

the last bead

the end of a long

chain, your marriage

for land, not love

to an Orthodox woman.


Great, great, great

grandfather alone I pull you -

cold, bones to my coat

kiss your teeth, breathe

air, frost into your suit

it swells, flesh

of the man who made

the man who made

the man who made

the woman who gave

the child a heart

to see the dead

through dreams.

Contributor's Note: Anne Elezabeth Pluto will join poets Gary Eddy, Jorge Guitart and Peter Siedlecki in a reading at the RIC Series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Research and Information Commons at Daemen College, 4380 Main St., Amherst. A former Buffalo resident and University at Buffalo Ph.D., she is a professor of literature and theater at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., where she is the artistic director of the Oxford Street Players. Her collections of poetry include "The Frog Princess" (White Pine Press, 1987), "Lubbock Electric" (Argotist Editions, 2012) and "Benign Protection" (Cervena Barva Press, 2016), in which this poem appears.

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