Two Poems by Kristina Chew


The Waters Took Him

bumbling mastery
the boy’s
the waters waved him
shore of the swell of sea
the waters waves and somewhere
under there are seahorses
and seahouses and weed
sown of the sea, kelp and krill
and bracken, wracking, turnover
and counterturn spillage, rock
under harbour and out, out she goes
outer, under and roll over curl, furl
under she goes not so steady,
he goes and the waters over closed

Near 930 Madison

Maybe curdled cream.
Chipping brown trim like syrup round
the faux bay windows, a behemoth
block-full building home to many not
mine whose two-family was over
one block, violet shingles hue
of heavy drugstore perfume
till they had it painted tan
which was how it was until
my dad was dying,
the house was sold to someone
who was a son of someone
Chinese and got a fresh new look.

I smell
oil clots
feeling those eyes
watching us leave.

About the Author

Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and medical terminology at Rutgers University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her translation of Virgil’s Georgics was published in 2002 and drafts of her writing process have been reproduced in Imperceptibly and Slowly Opening (2016). Her translations of selected Eclogues of Virgil have been published in Ancient Exchanges and Aurochs and her essays in academic journals and the Guardian. She is writing a book on teaching ancient Greek online.


Derek Keats: Kelp, 2011 (CC)

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