Adele Steiner


If only I could forgive you for leaving,
burn a string and watch the flame curl its way

along twisted fibers until nothing
remains of my anger but dust. I canít

find the words either, not even between
the palms of my hands. So round and small

the space is my confessional no larger
than a mouth. But it is quiet now. Even

light squeezes thinly between my closed
fingers so its brightness canít scream. It glows

instead in soft red tones, whisperings
I cannot understand without a glass:

Crystal, wheel spun and finely cut so
its meridians close in around a rim,

makes the perfect ring for spinning word
fragments until their pieces blend again.

They require only one of my hands
and the lightest touch from my fourth finger

to set them in motion. Its slender frame
reins flesh in close to the bone for speed,

for gathering the momentum it needs
to lift words up loud enough for piercing.

Adele Steiner
Adele Steiner is a poet and teacher residing in Bethesda, Maryland. She received her B.A. and M.F.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently an artist-in-residence at Georgetown University Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. She is also a poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council, and she teaches at the Writerís Center in Bethesda, Md. Her work has been published in Gargoyle, So To Speak, The Maryland Poetry Review, Wordwrights, The Lucid Stone, Smartish Pace, Promise Magazine, Scribble, a chapbook, REFRACTED LOVE (l993) and a full-length book of poetry, FRESHWATER PEARLS (l997).



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