Thursday, August 4, 2011

Melissa Tuckey's "University Kiss in a Time of War"

University Kiss in a Time of War

Two slight young women--
the smaller one
reaches for hands
leans close to give a kiss
to the taller girl
an in between things kiss
a so long for now kiss
and nothing breaks
no alarms are sounded
no one is injured
Other students pass without
comment or craning.
As the rain that's gentled
our spirits since morning.
But the giver of the kiss looks back,
a quick glance over her shoulder
as if she's learned
that kisses can be dangerous.
I'm reminded of children who live
on the border between wars,
how farmers pay them
to go to rocky fields and find
landmines. Small hands
mostly agile enough to keep the bombs
from exploding; the farmers
hungry to return to their fields.

- Melissa Tuckey
Used by permission.

Melissa Tuckey is the author of Rope as Witness, a chapbook published by Puddinghouse Press. She's received a Fine Arts Work Center residency, among other awards for her writing. Her poetry has been anthologized in DC Poets Against the War, Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing, Poets for Palestine, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds: The Teachers of Writers Corps in Poetry and Prose, and is forthcoming in Ecopoetry: A Contemporary American Anthology. She is co-translator with Chun Ye and Fiona Sze-Lorrain of Chinese poet Yang Zi's collected works, which have been published by Conjunctions, Manoa, and Witness, among other journals. Tuckey serves as Poetry Editor at the online journal Foreign Policy in Focus (a think tank without walls). She teaches at Ithaca College, and lives in Ithaca, New York.

Tuckey has been with Split This Rock since its inception and served as a founding co-director. She now serves on the Board of Directors.

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