the weight of dew by Daniela Elza

 “The natural world is the old river that runs through everything and I think poets will forever fish along its shores.”
—Mary Oliver (1994)








can I fill these words with what is not

intended?        with what the river keeps
under her tongue.

with the maps birds carve in my marrow
fill my bones                         with air
my eye                  with their dying.


to wait            on the river bank

long enough

to know what knowing            looks like
before               it is disturbed.

stepped on.                      sanitized.
poked              with a stick.
put       in a vial.

to know the shape of                      me

nameless—       my given names left out
like shoes       I was meant to fill.

they gather dew now

it slides down their tongues.  I watch them
through this open door               where

even the clock          wipes its face     clean.


Copyright © Daniela Elza. Originally published in the weight of dew (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2012).


Daniela Elza has lived on three continents and crossed numerous geographic, cultural and semantic borders. Her poetry collections are the weight of dew,  the book of It, and milk tooth bane bone, of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.” Daniela earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Simon Fraser University. Her latest poetry collection is  forthcoming with Mother Tongue Publishing (April, 2020).


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