—for Larry Levis
My body is just the story it tells
in order to be true. The moon goes on
enlarging the ballad of its fall, pretending
it’s innocent as a cloak
draped over a virgin’s shoulders. I was once
virginal before I was tangible, and my voice
swaddled me in what I’ve learned to call
refrain. If I’d been born in the shape of
a boy, I would have been
named after trees so old
they are only the sounds we make for them.
Devon Walker-Figueroa, a recent graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, currently lives in New York, where she serves as co-founding editor of Horsethief Books. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, The New England Review, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Narrative Magazine, Tin House (The Open Bar), and Copper Nickel.