Issue > Poetry
Molly Tenenbaum

Molly Tenenbaum

Molly Tenenbaum’s poetry books are Mytheria (forthcoming January 2017 from Two Sylvias Press), The Cupboard Artist, Now< and By a Thread; and the artist book, Exercises to Free the Tongue, a collaboration with artist Ellen Ziegler. She plays old-time banjo. Her recordings are Instead of a Pony and Goose & Gander. She lives in Seattle, teaching at North Seattle College and Dusty Strings Music School.

Sounds Heard from Inside the Ashes Box


Dull cardboard of a photo propped,
bottom edge a woody thunk.
Top edge a click on the plastic box.

The flesh of a hand sweeping air,
the swish of a vase removed,
the faucet rooms away—
some shuffling rearrangements here—

Something glass, with a heavy base.

The ant-feet of dust.
A match strike and incense suspending its ash.

Now footsteps gong the floor
and clay beads rattle their dish.
A door closes near me, and up through
the feet of this cabinet, I vibrate at the wall.

I once studied stars and knew mountains.
I once made a painting in blue and black ink
of the moon tangled in pines.

I once watched the fish in the pond
a whole afternoon
and thought I'd wasted time.

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