After Celan

Flowing elm, your leaves blush at twilight.
My mother’s hair was never braided.

Columbine, red against the Colorado sky.
My auburn-haired mother did not come home.

Storm cloud, ride the greasy wind.
My shy mother weeps for strangers.

Pointed star, lasso the lost planet’s ring.
My mother’s heart was ripped by lead.

Oaken barrel, who taps you in the dark?
My mother’s scream lies muffled in her pillow.

AFTER CELAN by Gary Percesepe

Photo used under CC.


About Author

Gary Percesepe is Associate Editor at BLIP Magazine (formerly Mississippi Review), and a Contributor at The Nervous Breakdown. His short stories, poems, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published or are forthcoming in Story Quarterly, N + 1, Salon, Mississippi Review, Antioch Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Millions, Houston Literary Review, Westchester Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Rumpus, Pank, Bluestem, Bull, Word Riot, Moon Milk Review, Fogged Clarity, Necessary Fiction, Frigg, Twelve Stories, Negative Suck, and other places. He is the author of four books in philosophy and an epistolary novel with Susan Tepper, What May Have Been: Letters of Jackson Pollock and Dori G, (Cervana Barva Press). He recently completed his second novel, Leaving Telluride, set in Telluride, Colorado.

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