What Is Withheld
entrusted with throwing bread
ahead of the weighlock so the boats
could skim a mealock without being
scenes. The one I loved had sea eyes,
made me green. When I say
boats, I don’t mean goats, but dogs.
Each one had several shames
so we called them Come-you,
from the glottal, a private stutter.
Come-you’s father gave me a letter
to toss across the sands. This was
long after apples disappeared
from shops. I was entrusted
throwing grass into moss. My favorite
thing: to eat book after book while
reading apples. The letter said wait
by the viburnum, which looks
away, then jump. His father paid.
A signist by trade, he rendered
the boards in local idioms
as Come-you changed. This was
many years before we met again
in the hearken, a marked growl—
before the stave and tale. When I say
hall, I don’t mean all or hole: a place
where every empty thing is saved.
Boat, boa, bowie, buoy, beau.
This was before they made the dogs
dig up their bones. Sometimes it is
not to believe. If it wouldn’t
happened to my loved ones I wouldn’t
About Amaranth Borsuk, US
currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. She has a PhD
in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of
Southern California, and has been published in such journals
as Field, Colombia Poetry Review, Colorado Review
and others. She has a new collection of poetry out titled
Handiwork that was selected for the 2011 Slope
Editions Poetry Prize. Borsuk is particularly interested in
the use of writing technologies by modern and contemporary
This is Amaranth
first appearance in Sketchbook.
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