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Poem: Empress I

Mitch Teich

The wind has stopped.
No jeweled throne in nature’s
yellow pall of sky, and I have
seen the river moving from me
like a lover I have not kissed yet,
who does not know I am here, reclined,
waiting for the cut-down rye to stop
blowing in the cloudless sky.

I have not found the wreath for my grave,
nor my way into the dark of pine forest
behind me. It calls me like the feral cries
of animals mating. I cannot turn my eyes.

I have searched for one open sound to surface
amid the quiet of my days, but not one visits me.
And I am left in the stillness of the air,
hoping something will make him turn back,
that he will come my way.

It only takes one.

Lake Effect contributor Jenny Benjamin is a Milwaukee poet and writer, and author of the novel, This Most Amazing.

Jenny Benjamin is an award-winning poet and novelist. Over 30 of her poems have appeared in journals, including DIAGRAM, South Carolina Review, Fulcrum, Baltimore Review, Chelsea, and the Crab Orchard Review. Her first novel, This Most Amazing, was published in 2013 by Armida Books in Nicosia, Cyprus. Her poetry chapbook, More Than a Box of Crayons, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.