Poems

HELENE ACHANZAR
O desire, I grow my hair long

A rein for him. Lavender
over the August afternoon.

A palate for the lake expanse.
I was swimming when he got the good
news, every gull hovering at once.
So badly I closed my eyes.

All my life I’ve wanted
to be called in from the shore.

On the sand, the way I rest is swollen.
Sheen of a body, a balm of good fortune
to have this new impulse. To elastic
my strands over what he might say.

To celebrate, he sliced apples.
The outdoor octaves between us.

Today our thighs brown in the sediment
grove, water beading inside and outside
a bottle. Tomorrow I’ll comb out my tangles
while the water scatters in his rearview.

Helene Achanzar is a Filipina Canadian poet and educator. At the University of Mississippi, she was awarded the John and Renee Grisham fellowship and served as senior editor of Yalobusha Review. Her writing can be found in Oxford Americanjubilat, and Sixth Finch. Helene lives in Chicago where she works as Programs Manager at the Chicago Poetry Center.