D. Dina Friedman has published widely in literary journals (including Calyx, Xanadu, Common Ground Review, Bloodroot, Inkwell, Pacific Poetry and Fiction Review, Tsunami, The Sun, Anderbo, San Pedro River Review, Mount Hope, Rhino) and received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry and fiction. She has also published two young adult novels. Dina currently teach at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, and is enrolled in the MFA program at Lesley University. Visit her website at www.ddinafriedman.com
we will know for sure we are as alone
as the grass, the river, the cat
curled into itself in the morning sun
who knows how to be alone, in ways we don’t
just as the river has found a way to be itself
And the mountains, the poor goats
milked for cheese, they have learned to be alone
the wind too, has no song of community.
it laughs as we hold hands, or try to paddle out of eddies
against the current of who we are … some day
we’ll be able to live in our own skin
rejoice in the company of our breath
and the million cells that speak our secret words.
He No Longer Listens to Music
So much to be missed—the churchy piano chords
proselytizing tolerance, embrace of imperfection
wedged into the prescribed order of the universe,
like the song of the bassoon, proclaiming that all there is to be
is just as it is in the troubled heart. The chaos of dusk
settles rigid in his shoulders, repeated words
masquerade themselves as prayer. Who is left listening?
Once music is gone, God can’t be far behind
unless you believe in the supernatural origins
of percussive thunder. And what about art?
Ballet? Drama? The swaying shape
of the body? The seduction of color?
The big ideas, like why we were created
if not to create—and what in fact are we creating
but idols of ourselves
seeking houses where the heart can dance.
Narcissus in the New York Rain
I can’t see myself in these puddles.
The streets are too dark.
All they reflect is the half-eaten pizza ,
the flyer advertising discounts
at the local tanning salon
heading toward the sewers
Are there really alligators down there?
Can I write the drama of being eaten alive
details of teeth sinking into flesh.
Why are people looking at their feet?
Is it that risky to catch your reflection
in someone else’s eyes?