Two Poems from 'Borderline Fortune'


by Teresa K. Miller


I don’t listen for you now, your crow step,
so eager to say my own piece. How does it

start. The ants came to tear my house down.
I went to sleep thinking of them, woke plotting

against them. I did not dream. A legion of men
that summer, none could bear to let me

speak. They focused over my shoulder,
even an empty corner the more willing

conspirator. Where will I lay you, wright,
smith, climber cutting to the next node, choosing

a new leader.



Lured back, I spun myself a shiny aluminum wing—

but in the afternoon, she put on a new face.
Those you love will evaporate before you, leave

their slack jaws, wind-up bodies lying in the yard.
Nicotine-stained filters reeking in the kitchen garbage.

Here is the next moment of your life: You spent it
in my crooked song.


About the Author:

A two-time National Poetry Series finalist and graduate of the Mills College MFA program, Teresa K. Miller is the author of sped (Sidebrow) and Forever No Lo (Tarpaulin Sky) as well as co-editor of Food First: Selected Writings from 40 Years of Movement Building (Food First Books). In 2015, she co-created an ongoing conversational essay series for Berfrois, which includes a recent installment in Berfrois: The Book (Dostoyevsky Wannabe, 2019).

Cover image by Balaram Mahalder via Flickr (cc).