Two Poems by Maya C. Popa on a World Out of Reach

Maya C. Popa

 
 
Spring


Time persists, yes, I can see there are new branches.

The grass, first in a line of transformations,
seemingly risen overnight.

Color is pouring back into the hours,
or forgiveness, whatever the case may be.

With one decisive tug at the earth, the robin’s drawn forth
a shimmering worm,

with such precision, it is almost a cruel pleasure.

This, the nightmare we dreamed but did not wake from.

Time is passing, I concede.      A squirrel leaps
from one branch to another.

A hawk studies the field at dusk.

The park announces the season over and over
to no one,

and the silence cranes to listen.

Terraces of light now that the day is longer.

When joy comes, will I be ready, I wonder.

 


Wound is the Origin of Wonder


A cross-breeze between this life
and the imagined one.

I am stuck in an almost life,
in an almost time. If I could say,

but I cannot, and so on. Sunlight
dizzies through the barren trees,

the skyline, a blue fog against
a yellow light, and on the highway

every Westward car blinds me.
Every surface reflects

that quiet understanding: decisions
have been made, irreversible decisions

to upend beauty for something
approximate—the airport hotel,

its Eiffel Tower on the roof,
a playground near the public storage.

Beyond, bridges like monuments
to fracture, and a sign for Pain Law:

not metaphor, but litigation.
Who would not, given acreage

in another’s mind, lie there
for a while to watch the sky be sky?


Maya C. Popa is the author of American Faith (Sarabande 2019), recipient of the 2020 North American Book Prize from the Poetry Society of Virginia. She is a teacher and the poetry reviews editor at Publishers Weekly, and a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

Graphic by Bianca Ibarlucea.

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