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A New Colossus

A Celebration of Our America

Broken Periodic

No one who has ever had a childhood 
wants what’s happening. No one 
who has ever wondered anything: 
where the rain’s headed in her steel hooves. 
Questions wrongly put swell 
like moths under a light. On the streets, 
everything looks human. You forget 
certain animals are bloodless injured. 
You must imagine some other color 
that means hurt. At night, you sleep 
with something like your gifts: to anguish 
and ascribe a language, music.
To slice a fig the long way and linger. 
To grieve for a country.
To grieve without a country to grieve.
 
    • Listen: Maya Popa reciting Broken Periodic

​Maya Catherine Popa

​Maya Catherine Popa is the author of the chapbook The Bees Have Been Canceled published by New Michigan Press. She is the recipient of the Poetry Foundation Editor's Prize ...