Featured Poem: “Mythology” by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello


Step down into the water 

said a voice so I did    hungry

my robes darkening as I gathered 

                        [Moses drawn from water like

                        water from well or womb]

I spent myself for want of water

mouthfuls of wind-crammed sand

bellyful of refusals      burning bush that I was

                        [water  slipping away like

                        lungfish crocodile current]

for whom the waters parted

for whom I swept aside my linen tides

a savior wholly misguided      so why

                        [first of the motherless

                        twice mothered by war]

must I who drowned once already

in the water of the womb ponder

why the water does not part for me

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, and was a finalist for the Florida Book Award and Milt Kessler Award. Together with E. J. Koh, she co-translated The Lightest Motorcycle in the World by Korean poet Yi Won, forthcoming June 2021 from Zephyr Press. A transracial adoptee, she has received fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association, among others. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, and more. She serves as poetry editor for Hyphen magazine and as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair. www.marcicalabretta.com

Comments are closed.