Two Poems


The word for what
Rain owe do to what we
butcher: cure.

Rain oBeware the noun
that tricks itself
Rain oout as a verb.

There’s no ellipsis 
Rain ohalf as skeptical
as Sure . . .

Rain oEnglish is
as tricky as
Rain othe English were.

What you think you
Rain oshape shape-
shifts from verse to worse.

Rain oThe word for wing
becomes the word for 
Rain ocrippling a bird.


Rain oOld Ignominy:
Thirteen stripes scarring a slave’s
Rain oback quench fifty stars


Rain oAll it has to do
to remind me how fiercely  
Rain oI love it is burn


Rain oWhen cord whips flagpole
whether or not we name it
Rain othe hurricane’s here


Rain oThis is where they come:
even a tower in flames
Rain ois someone’s lighthouse


Rain oPledging allegiance
is how I learned which side of 
Rain omy chest my heart’s on


Rain oWhen you fold a dream 
into a triangle the
Rain ocoffin is your own

Amit Majmudar‘s newest poetry collection is What He Did in Solitary (Knopf, 2020). His verse translation of the Bhagavad-Gita is entitled Godsong (Knopf, 2018). He has served as Ohio’s first Poet Laureate, and he is also a diagnostic nuclear radiologist and internationally published novelist.