Song of Songs


by Carina del Valle Schorske

I can’t sleep in that artificial bower.

University of branches and blossoms.
Oasis open on all sides
to rumors, threats, and drought.

I won’t sing with kings who warn the end of love,
won’t join the loud circled harem
in I sought him but I found him not.

Do not whistle of the wind

when you are in the garden, the lucky break
in the mountain’s menace, the empty breezy
arteries of the palace promenades.

I don’t deny the desert. I don’t praise it.

But I’ve seen things grow without greening,
I’ve heard songs without refrains.

The earth refrains, but the voice exceeds.
The voice sweetens. The voice subsides.

About the Author:

Carina del Valle Schorske is a poet, essayist, and translator based in New York City. Her essays have recently appeared in Boston Review and The Point; new poems are out in Prelude, Prodigal, and soon enough at The Offing. She is a CantoMundo fellow, the MacDowell Colony’s 2013–2014 Isabella Gardner fellow in poetry, and a PhD student at Columbia University, where she studies psychoanalysis and race. Find out more @fluentmundo on Twitter, in this interview with VIDA, or in her one true home on Facebook.