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Miranda Field

Miranda Field

Miranda Field’s first book, Swallow, won a Katherine Bakeless Nason Literary Publication Award. She was born and raised in North London, in the UK, and she currently teaches poetry at the New School and NYU.

Molecule By Molecule

Why do we ceaselessly resume in dreams the childhood we had, no matter how finished? I speak aloud, though only the cat's in the dawn with me, and she fixated by something the weeds in their jam jar emit. Nature nurses her ardor—she circles and circles, drags the silk of her side lengthwise through the weeds till the weeds reach weed heaven, the silk silk heaven. In last night's dream my sisters and I keep saying There's too much fish sauce in it! So happy we are when someone feeds us, we feel the need to complain and bicker—a reflex like blinking or folding wings, like starting one's spinnerets. The garden must be unfolding, earwigs crawling up out of the earth, all of it drenching the atmosphere in pheromones. The cat dips her tongue in the weeds' water, a springtime communion. I shrink to my mother's child in sleep, replacing my children's mother.

Tilted Stones

Wild woods touch St.Mary's church-
yard dotted over with daisies and
primroses, sodden moss studded
with china-blue poison amonita caps
small as fingertips. The recent expiry  
of the last clump of ancient, ful-
minating Mandelbrot archaeo-
bacteria in a specimen jar in Germany
comes up. A pity! We're swinging
the whinging iron gate. Which
bird do you think will build the last
nest on earth for the last egg and then
what? I want wrens over thrushes, children
fritter away their faith on robins. We trudge
uphill, over stiles, through fields to where
you can see a ridge, or cicatrice, in
the voluptuous distance, an Iron-age
longbarrow. An orphan egg found in time
before it has cooled, the yolk congealed,
kept in a shoebox filled with dense
lamb's roving, under an infrared bulb,
might possibly stand a chance. Or else
tucked in a man's armpit, if he then
submitted to bed-rest, or between
the breasts of a fleshier woman
than I, I say. I think about bed-rest.  
Silence in the copse, besides rustles and
twig-snaps. Then Tea-kettle-ettle-ettle
prattle bubbles up again in branches. Are
birds born with specific songs in them?  
Or do fellow birds instruct the fledglings?
It pleases me to question, what if a black-
bird were raised by a starling? Or foxes?


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