Didn’t I stand there once,
white-knuckled, gripping the just-lit taper,
swearing I’d never go back?
And hadn’t you kissed the rain from my mouth?
And weren’t we gentle and awed and afraid,
knowing we’d stepped from the room of desire
into the further room of love?
And wasn’t it sacred, the sweetness
we licked from each other’s hands?
And were we not lovely, then, were we not
as lovely as thunder, and damp grass, and flame?
by Cecilia Woloch
From Carpathia, by Cecilia Woloch. Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd., 2009. ‘Anniversary’ is reprinted by permission of BOA Editions.
Notes courtesy of BOA Editions:
Cecilia Woloch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up there and in rural Kentucky, one of seven children of a homemaker and an airplane mechanic. She attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, earning degrees in English and Theater Arts, before moving to Los Angeles in 1979. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University L.A. in 1999. A celebrated teacher, Ms. Woloch has conducted poetry workshops for thousands of children and young people throughout the United States and around the world, as well as workshops for professional writers, educators, participants in Elderhostel programs for senior citizens, inmates at a prison, and residents at a shelter for homeless women and their children. She is the founding director of Summer Poetry in Idyllwild and of The Paris Poetry Workshop, and is currently a lecturer in the creative writing program at the University of Southern California as well as a member of the core faculty of the low-residency MFA Program in Professional Writing at Western Connecticut State University.
Well-controlled eulogies to her dying father in rural Kentucky, lush lyric and prose poems to lovers and former-lovers in Paris and various Eastern European countries, and compelling anaphoric-based narratives that meander between innocence and experience, body and soul – these are the motifs in Cecilia Woloch’s stirring collection, Carpathia, from which ‘Anniversary’ is taken. You can find out more about Carpathia here, and more about Cecilia Woloch here.
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