Judy Kronenfeld, "Malaise"




What we want when the days

begin to pile up against us, though we mumble

only about work not going well,

about a blister on a heel, and our friends

or lovers sigh “Tell me what you want

me to say,” is instinctive enlightenment

megawatts beyond our own: a rush

of it, revelation opening like the first-seen

broad avenues of a famous city from the heights.


What we want is not laboriously-folded origami

birds made according to instruction—however

clever. We want wild parrots feathered chartreuse,

scarlet, cyan, bursting from their jungle

cover, carrying astonishing messages

in their beaks.


Judy Kronenfeld's most recent books of poetry are Shimmer (WordTech Editions, 2012) and the second edition of Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths (Antrim House, 2012), winner of the 2007 Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, such as Calyx, CImarron Review, Natural Bridge, and Pedestal. She is Lecturer Emerita in Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, and Associate Editor of Poemeleon.