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Four Poems by Erin Mizrahi

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Winter is when we come undone or something is in retrograde or

hi, it’s me again,

if you turn off your location, how will I find you?

do you not want to be found or are you creating mystery?

if mystery is meant to draw us in,

why am I all the way over here?

when did we get older?

where is my mouth?

do you ever think about how weird it is that everyone was a baby?

what lie were you taught in school that’s caused the most harm?

is there sound in space or not?

can you monetize the things you love?

why is everything so expensive?

why is it so hard for people to do good people? i mean the right thing.

do you think my poems are bad poems? sometimes i think my poems are bad poems. is it really good to be bad? or is it mostly disappointing for yourself and also others? why are poems always licking things clean? talking about clavicle this and tender that? my poems are guilty of all of this and much more. i’m looking for new ways to say the old ways are fucked. everyone’s already moved on.

i’m still here lol.

i’ll be ruminating until


Are you ready to talk about how we’re made of micro plastics?

Yes it’s true, my placenta was part plastic which

means my baby is part plastic which means

what does it mean to be human, do you

know what I mean? There’s a certain type

of person who will answer literally

any question by declaring Climate Grief!

As though this is a revelation. I want to braid my hair

inside your revelation. I am full of so many

dumb emotions. Let’s eat the rich.

I mean hold hands. There’s too much me

in my poems. I’m getting emails

from Debra Messing about democracy &

I’m struggling to complete my manuscript &

also this sentence. The last pages

were just a small handful of sunflower

seeds. I can’t explain to you my attachment

to all my opened tabs. So much of my emotional life

is saved as draft. I use constellation and galaxy

interchangeably. I am a poet & I am wrong

about many things. I must remind myself often

that palm trees are really grass. That earthworms

can taste light. That octopuses change colors

when they dream. And how are you also magic?

Is that too brutal a word? Ok then,

in what ways are you also a song? My friend

says she knows people are dying but

she really wants a yard. I get that.

At the sound bath they invite us to greet the gong

At the sound

bath, they invite us

to greet the gong &

I lay on my bed &

weep beside a boy

I do not know. Venice,

California is a lot

like anywhere,

California. Maybe

a little sadder.

I’m never ready

when the seasons

change. Let me begin

again. The origin of

prayer was a woman

howling. I’d like to begin

that way too. As much

as I’d like to listen

to the world, I’m not

all that disciplined.

Resurrections don’t need

to be a grand gesture.

We are spooning

what’s left of

the daylight, the sky

a quiet wound.

At the sound bath,

they invite us to greet

the gong & I climb

all the way in. My

limbs unfolding slowly

like the Vitruvian Man.

A dial of grief.

You forgive yourself

& the sky stays as it was. There is no opening of clouds, no unspooling of cotton candy & sticky rain. No song. The birds do not descend from their canopies to greet you. You forgive yourself & the dandelions fall out of your mouth. & new words are born. & each summer lovers peel the gleam of dizzy sunlight from each other's thighs. & dandelions fall out of your mouth still. & you wonder how it took this long. You were not moving the sky. You were only naming a small hunger. You have said all there is to say about apricots. You sleep and everything is as it was. You are not upside down if everything else is also upside down. Is this because of what you said about apricots? The earth is spinning faster than it ever has before. The days are getting shorter and we need new measurements for time. The IT world is crashing. You can listen to a black hole and it sounds like geometry cooing and I forgive myself. Time and I are not friends. It has nothing to do with the apricots. It has nothing to do with this hurtling world I mean my dry skin I mean that dream where I have two lovers in the zombie apocalypse in case one gets bit. My sun is in scorpio and I forgive myself. My moon is in taurus and I forgive still. And my forgiveness remembers the apricots and the rain and the dandelions falling out of my mouth. Or was it daffodils.

Erin Mizrahi is a writer, collaborator, educator and co-founder of Cobra Milk, a multimedia literary and arts journal. A Pushcart nominee and recipient of fellowships from Asylum Arts and the Institute for Jewish Creativity, their writing has appeared in Yes Poetry, Maudlin House, Ginger Zine, GASHER Journal, the Ben Yehuda Press anthology Strange Fire: Jewish Voices from the Pandemic and elsewhere.

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