Counting backwards from ten, I’m lost
at one: it was meant to calm me down, like
an apology or shaking the snow globe,
but I have to start again, replaying the song
that speaks to my reverie. I drift
from my wish, the candles, a burning forest
now. The pearl in the box, a piece of that
burning. Will I always be the sum
of my poverty? Last night, I woke
to that, from the dream of hammering
a copper star in a whitewashed room.
I hadn’t washed my hair for weeks. I guess
from the despair. It’s amazing: after so little,
or so much, I think of the possibilities.
Nicole Greaves holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University, and a certification in secondary English from Bryn Mawr College. Her poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review: Philly Edition, Jacaranda, Calliope, Cleaver Magazine, Acentos Review, and Friends Journal, and she was recently a finalist for the Coniston Poetry Prize held by Radar Poetry. Her work has also been awarded prizes by The Academy of American Poets and the Leeway Foundation of Philadelphia. In 2003, she was the poet laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Much of her work explores themes relating to tensions around acculturation, gender roles, and class. She teaches at The Crefeld School in Philadelphia.