Sculpture of Debris on the Waterfront

by Martina Reisz Newberry

I’ve come to know the way the
details of love are a prayer
or maybe a polite demand
that sets God’s teeth on edge.

We most certainly did that:
set God’s teeth on edge. Our prayer
became fetus and I shed
it—dough—before it could

become bread. That was the
only Amen we’d know. We chose
love, then song, then grief, then
surgery, rending us one

from the other. We rescued
nothing, retained nothing,
leveled our landscape. Long
after Us, I decided

to go on tour, wrestling words,
fighting voodoo, casting spells.
You disappeared. Your image
has stayed on though—makes me

edgy if I call it up.
What does all of this make me?
A Veteran of Foreign
Loves, shuffling along salted

corridors, watching the stars
leak melted ice cream or
maybe a composer of
the Symphony of Sneezing?

Well, loved one, if you remember
Us, me, Us, whatever…
if you do, think of noontimes
that never achieved grace,

evaporated words.
Think of sexual anesthesia,
how it finally failed,
rising, falling, drowning in thunder.

Perhaps You Could Breathe For Me

Martina Reisz Newberry's picture

Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is WHAT WE CAN’T FORGIVE. She is also the author of LATE NIGHT RADIO, PERHAPS YOU COULD BREATHE FOR ME. HUNGER, AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE: POEMS 1996-2006, NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND (Arabesques Press) and RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press)., Ms. Newberry is the winner of i.e. magazine’s Editor’s Choice Poetry Chapbook Prize for 1998: AN APPARENT, APPROACHABLE LIGHT., She is the author of LIMA BEANS AND CITY CHICKEN: MEMORIES OF THE OPEN HEARTH—a memoir of her father—published by E.P. Dutton and Co. in 1989., She has written four novels and several books of poetry, has been included in Ascent Aspirations first Anthology and has been widely published in literary magazines and books such as: Amelia, Ascent Aspirations, Bellingham Review, Southern Review of Poetry, and others., Newberry lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband Brian and their benevolent dictator/cat, Gato. All her books are available from

Last updated August 05, 2011