Poetry - Issue 12 | June 2011

Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat


Crossings

I misplace my passport
and almost to the Danish border

I rush to turn my vitals into a story
relevant for crossings.

I come from a state of astonishment.
My blood has always been a foreign city on the ocean.
The bays were broken long before

I laid eyes on them – none of that my doing.

I was a child of pleasure not my own,
born on Saturday, spelling work,
as learning is a kind of work,
switching tacks is an employment,
and love the hardest labor.

My limp is the result of a childhood crush
and the crick in my neck comes from caring
too much

for stars and airplanes, for looking up
to find my ancestors all north,
elongated shadows thrown astern.

On my mother’s side their chins sat stiff;
on my father’s side, they trembled.
I travel light into experience, a few seeds
and country dust I can’t pass off
on anyone

I hope will earn me entry.

Occasionally I have followed the errant
lines on my hand, dragging my freight
at this height, this weight,

leaving me with an unfinished feeling
because every place I ever loved,

I still love,
tucked away as cloth is tucked, a parachute
strapped to my back when all the doors
I’ve slammed blow open.

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About the author

Sarah J. Sloat lives in Germany.

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