Four Poems
by Stefania Heim

Etiquette Lessons For A Reluctant Granddaughter Who Is Heir Apparent To The Throne

I love the slender, green tree in the courtyard,
its branches level like so many planes. There is nothing
pulling on my heartstrings now. All tucked in

I am weightless. What I can teach you
is who to think about when you feel guileless. When I was
thirsty, I followed one path from the list to the face.

Toss from the left hand what you can’t bear in the right.
Or, what you lose for a moment’s mirth and wonder.
Persevere, little lamb, only hunger is straight.

A Corpse Tells How She Died And Who Was Involved In Her Death

You’ve done a study of the woman in the downtown window.
Blow dries her hair, smokes cigarette after cigarette. Everything is falling.

Nothing is lost. I keep a small bronze bust of the fortune teller’s namesake
And I have sized up my opponents. They were all carrying knives.

Nod, though you’re not quite sure. Everything I have you have
Seen and heard. Of all, after all, we were lost lost lost.

Saturday, And Getting Colder

Which dark trophies can we relegate to past?

I want feelings that are buildings
And not signs. You tell me:

No one away is coming home.
Not tonight.

So then let’s get on our bicycles and ride
In the dark. In absence. In educated guess.

All my new estimates are proving to be right:
A life is as assembled out of thin

Birch branches. Now you know
Everything: I was unnaturally lit from within.

That’s my handbag at the scene of the crime.

Do not “look to me.” I will not be prepared.

Would You Like To See My House

Our garden, inexplicable.
All day, we watered. We were removed.

All night, a metronomic noise,
Like the mattress springs of honeymooners.

Each of us
At dinner

Has experimented
With silence.

At night we believe
The sculptures on the lawn are our feelings.

The path is tricky.
There are beacons of rock.

Has there been some other nourishing?

She is painting one wall.
Wed to it, she is red.

Stefania Heim is the co-editor of CIRCUMFERENCE: Poetry in Translation. She received her MFA from Columbia Unversity and her poems have recently appeared in various journals including Crowd, The Paris Review, and The Literary Review.