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Half a Life

by Sanjana Nair

And I have wondered at the making

of your parts—as if the eyes watching me


are from another time, worn old as the idea

of your body pressed to mine, like the botanist


who gathers leaves and petals to place,

to crush and preserve between yellowed pages


of Donne’s poems.  I have worshipped you

and wondered at the pages and dirt


that stain your hands, drift into your nails.  

Oh dear one, we are Frankensteined from old echoes of love


and warmth, of the woods we would have lived in, of the children

and bulbs we might have planted and grown, but did not.

About the Author

Some of Sanjana Nair’s work has previously appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Fence Magazine, Juxtaprose Magazine and Painted Bride Quarterly amongst others. She has performed original pieces of poetry and music with Composer’s Collaborative at Tribeca's Flea Theater and has contributed work to Emotive Fruition, a collaboration between poets and actors. An original member of the Asian poetry organization Kundiman, for whom she ran a reading series at Verlaine on the Lower East Side, she has also been a guest poet on National Public Radio's Sound Check. She is a full-time professor for English Department at City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

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