Martina Reisz Newberry


Just remember that I warned you . . . you told me
about your recent travels—a train climbing
through snowed hills, through tall spiked trees drowning in snow.
Just one dark bird you saw in one of those trees

as you rolled past. Think of it, you said, one dark
bird throughout the long mountain passes. How could

that be? Your fellow travelers ate from bags
and insulated lunch carriers: bread and

cheese, salami and oranges or apples. You
told me these things as if they were maladies

of time and direction. As the train slowed, you
saw a horse—alone—relieving itself in

the snow so nonchalantly, almost with grace.
If only we could do the same you told me.

A long trip through ever-dimming sky, the snow
whiter than imaginable. You said you’d

never known such loneliness, nearly frightening.
Before complete dark, you saw the unsound haunts

of your history walk through the trees, line up
at the rails and watch your train pass. Do recall
that I warned you of such travels, of trains and snow.
I am sorry, my friend.

If You Will

If you will forgive me my darkness,
I’ll channel the winds that come through
the canyons and I’ll breathe them
into your hands. 

You will be protected from the void
that sits at the sides of fucking and fasting
and numerous other bluffs that could
come your way. 

If you will absolve me of my excesses,
I’ll see to it that the unjustness of this world
stays to itself and Magic––as it is wont to do––
will bear you no malice. 

At supper, I will fill your plate
with undreamt dreams and pour
lightning into your cup. At bedtime,
I’ll turn your sheets down

with fingers like song lyrics and give the gods
of rest your full and true name. I’ll lay
vagueness over your esculent body and
Comb elixirs through your hair.

All this for forgiveness, for the exculpation
of everything I cannot be or do . . . .
We are far from paradise. An apple
you accept from a naked woman

could explode at any time. Believe me,
you are better off waving away my sins,
smiling wisely at my weaknesses
forgiving me my darkness.

Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent books are Never Completely Awake (from Deerbrook Editions), and Take the Long Way Home (Unsolicited Press).  She is also the author of Where It Goes (Deerbrook Editions), Learning by Rote (Deerbrook Editions), and Running like a Woman with Her Hair on Fire: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press). Newberry has been included in It Happened Under Cover, Ascent Aspirations’ first two hard-copy anthologies, also in the anthologies In The Company Of Women, Blessed Are These Hands and Veils, and Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women. She has been widely published in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Colony for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Disciplinary Arts. Passionate in her love for Los Angeles, Martina currently lives there with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.



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