Saara Myrene Raappana: "Torch"




In Cappadocia,

          where they say light

                    cools malaria

          and draws husbands to

the ugly, women

          string trees with evil-eye

                    amulets: catch dawn

          with the hollows

of blue irises.


          Light, we say, is hope:

                    candle, ambulance,

          every torch carried.

So the blank aperture

          of a rice-sized camera

                   swells to rule out cancer,

          and each zebra-pupil

on the twilit caldera


          expands as zebras

                    rest in tandem


and chin-on-shoulder

          —in case enough hope,

                    collected, repels lions.


          When a student

texted my husband

          to say she’d like to

                    shoot him, the cops said

          all you can do is

watch, watch everything.


          Our bedroom was unlit

                    candles, hemp cloth


in its sconces,

          the whole earth black, and

                    I lay wide-eyed until,

          rising, hope shrank

the hollow of the world.


Saara Myrene Raappana's poems have appeared in such publications as Cream City Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, [PANK], Subtropics, The Gettysburg Review, and Verse Daily