Alicia Hoffman

Praise the Land of Amnesty
for amnesia stores no bones
among the basements of the past,
no milky dreams that leak
old stories of shame
into today’s priorities, no
cavalier animals that nudge
warm noses into our ears
as we walk into new rooms
and whisper what we are
is what we have always been
because now that memory
has abandoned this country
the clouds in the sky carry
only the promise of rain,
the heart is no longer a hope
chest weighted down with
every regret but a valve and
ventricle machine, beating
every day as only the present can,
solid and treasured and forgiving.

Postcard, Wyoming
Today, the sagebrush
infects the wind—
smudging it through
rooms the only way
to cleanse lost souls,
you said. And
I want to tell you
about the way
homes can spoil
without any spirits,
how bones can break
sans shard or splinter,
the way my throat,
too close to my heart
most days, is in
these mornings,
early August, when
to witness the Tetons
stretch their ragged
back over the sky
feels almost human,
but today, I am
too much in awe
of these proportions,
till now I never knew
truth measures us
on a different scale,
stretches the sun over
the blue slats
of this black mountain
until I am staring
into my own mouth.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, New York. Her poems have appeared in a variety of publications, including A-Minor Magazine, Softblow, Radar Poetry, Redactions, Watershed Review, and elsewhere. Her newest collection is Railroad Phoenix (Aldrich Press). Find out more at www.aliciamariehoffman.com.