Susan Rich

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Susan Rich

The Year Where You No Longer Inhabit Yourself

Mostly, I’d like to cry a little less, sing a little more.
Hard to know how to enter my request into the internet
but here in the neatly repurposed rooms I trace escape routes;

I polish glass doorknobs and cull oysters from their shells.
Then I become a person who hums, become
my own sprig of lavender, then a slice of thundering sky.

Once I ate an entire batch of Christmas biscuits
and didn’t regret it. The mask of civility peeled off
as the star jasmine scented the backyard: evidence

of a new country where night blossoms and musk
melons might be all I needed. That year I grew
mustard greens under my fingernails, I built new nations.

Susan Rich reads “The Year Where You No Longer Inhabit Yourself”

Susan Rich is an award winning poet, editor and essayist. She is the author of four poetry collections including, most recently, Cloud Pharmacy and The Alchemist’s Kitchen, and co-editor of the anthology The Strangest of Theatres, published by the Poetry Foundation. Rich has received awards from PEN USA and the Fulbright Foundation. Her 5th collection, Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Collected Poems is forthcoming from Salmon Press, 2022; Blue Atlas is forthcoming from Red Hen Press, 2024.