Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read four poems by Leigh Stein, selected by Charles Day, BOMB’s Marketing Director.
Is one of the symptoms remembering the ghosts
one has seen? I am not going to sign my name
to this postcard because who knows whose eyes
will see it besides yours and you should know
who is in Mogadishu right now and who is not.
The passwords to my accounts are hidden
somewhere in the following true story.
When I was fourteen, my father promised
me to a man who lived in the forest.
I never went to his cabin; he always came
to mine. When he asked me why I never came
I said I did not know the way and so
he tied a rope to all the trees and asked my father
to see that I followed it. Sometimes we put ourselves
in danger just to live and tell about it.
And sometimes we put ourselves in danger
because our fathers betroth us to murderers.
When I finally found the house no one was home
so I hid and I waited. Blood as red as apples,
apples as red as blood, skin as white as snow,
snow as red as blood: no one has seen what I
have. My betrothed came home with some men
and a girl and I still have her finger to prove it.
(Is one of the symptoms a constant dull ache?