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to the equinox


trees outside veins.
spindles lacing
soon enough there’ll be leaves.
start with phrases,
a spray of branches
as the wind blows
is a bit cold
antlers splay white sky.
skin the riddle of trees,
raised question marks.
two bluishred chairs on a lawn facing front of the greentan house
                   next door.
a male with short brown hair, navy sweatshirt and jeans looks up
                    at the house.
dry sticks, garbage, could be anything.
light combs lakewater, deer-brown.
my father: a black slip, squirrel
of fabric curled
a noose beside his head.
the raze of nothing
but colors squirt
and a soprano far off:
plane engines, jazzy light, neighbors knocking walls,
vents exhaling heat, saints.
in the background orange looms
large, its pocked skin dicey.
sun flowers on my desk:
scatter
yellow green
consonants,
winter grass.
white lily petal
losing supple,
sister me.

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Shira Dentz is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, The Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem and Cecil Hemley Memorial Awards, Electronic Poetry Review’s Discovery Award, and Painted Bride Quarterly’s Poetry Prize. Her poetry has aired on NPR, featured on the Poetry Daily website, and has appeared in The American Poetry Review, FIELD, Western Humanities Review, American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, Seneca Review, jubilat, Lungfull!, and many other journals. She worked as an Art Director in a New York City advertising agency for many years designing ads for rock concerts and taught in a Brooklyn public high school as a New York City Teaching Fellow before leaving for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop a few years ago. Currently, she lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she is finishing a doctoral program. “To the equinox” was partly inspired by Nature in Iowa City, a memorable and, at times, dominant presence.

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