Risa Denenberg

Risa Denenberg is an aging hippie poet currently living in the Pacific Northwest. She earns her keep as a nurse practitioner and has worked for many years in end-of-life care. She is a moderator at The Gazebo, an online poetry board, and reviews poetry for the American Journal of Nursing. She is an editor at Headmistress Press, dedicated to publishing lesbian poetry. She has three chapbooks, what we owe each other (The Lives You Touch Publications, 2013); In My Exam Room (The Lives You Touch Publications, 2014); and Blinded by Clouds (forthcoming 2014, Hyacinth Girls Press) and a full length book, Mean Distance from the Sun (Aldrich Press, 2013). http://risadenenberg.blogspot.com/


Tisha B’av

these are days of awe, we fast and mourn, fast and atone
my bed is north, my love is south
I break my fast with broth  

I sip tea and wait for the waitress to serve the bland soup
the curve of a coke bottle arouses pleasure
a brown sweetness, a time for everything

cane sugar, cocaine, crack, sea-green glass
my bed is empty, my love is gone
I cannot eat the soup for the slipperiness of hope

risk skims as a needle slides smoothly into a vein
I am the eye, the pistil, the sadness
the store-bought flowers in their paper wrap

snow rimes my bed, my love slowly chills
water circles the drain counterclockwise
here is my list of sins 


Note: Tisha B’av is a fast day on the Jewish Calendar, commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem.

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