Genevieve Burger-Weiser's poems have been published in Boston Review, Western Humanities Review, Washington Square Review, Juked magazine and CRATE. She was a finalist for the Poetry Foundation's 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a winner of Poets & Writers' 2009 Amy Award, and shortlisted for the Times Literary Supplement 2008 Poetry Prize. She contributes book reviews to TheThepoetry Blog, teaches at Manhattanville College, and makes her home in Brooklyn, NY.
In the voluminous bureaucratic hallways of aftermath I catalogue wounds (the baby’s back scarred by chains, the homicide-suicides). But last night I ran to the crabapple trees erupting with pink, moving their branches in night wind like tentacles, sensing, perhaps saying something. I stood in the unreal light of their canopy wondering at branches weighed down by flowers. Holy, holy… we find our own divinity. There’s nothing to make, to say, to try to balance. People suffer. And trees give their entirety to blossoms, and spend their petals on darkness while you’re asleep, and they leave no heirlooms.
Listen: there's dignity in laughter—unmappable, perhaps, unintelligible as bird-calls, whale-song, but, darling, the sun this March inflected my spirit, bent the tone of you and me and the outlook on the motley grid of Manhattan. Today we are kind to ourselves. Men in coveralls, a wink at the lunch counter— somehow self-pity floats away like a scrap. I have license to observe a woman’s open-backed dress and to honor the impossible durability of a spine. Today people on the street wonder, guiltless, and unafraid, if, perhaps, they married the wrong person. It is possible; a temporary lapse in tragedy.