Sonya Wohletz


Sonya Wohletz
is a writer and researcher whose interests include colonial history, bats, the motions of the planets, the weather. Her work has appeared in Latin American Literary Review, Unlimited Literature, La Piccioletta Barca, and others.


It starts as an itch

A burrowed nugget of warmth
In the pit of your mouth,
The god tongue as it
Palpitates soft cloud songs
Where bears and other
Monsters are sleeping.

Nothing is swallowing us

On these new slender days
Where my body struggles
To give form to the words
You spoke in scrip
Just awhile ago,
At the doctor’s office.

I am lapping at them flavor by flavor

In a muscle noisewind as it
Wraps its forty arms around this
Down-feathered sunrise to which
I’ve come.

Now it seems that no one

Speaks the same language even,
Let alone the chicken or the cat,
But my body knows to
Show them I am here
A part of it all.

How else can I say it? This

Is the hardest thing I’ll have to ever
Explain when no one can
Unhinge it in enough
Colors for the eye to speak,
So I peel it back in
Layers, cutting through
Each one as I go.

You didn’t know it could be like

This, emerging into thought as one.
But I am only showing you
The simple part.

Try puling the earth

Through your jaw
One stone
At a time.

If it bites

Bite back.


In this house where you found me

In this house where you found me
There is a quiet hour;
Dry, the outgrown caftan of a snake
That is done with time.
I move towards the evening as wet
blue moss. I’m sorry for the delay
in decomposing.
Before I could not have
Arrived at this place without three
Fingers of doubt.
Now I mention
Rapture, and all the words fly away
as startled birds among the corn or
Spider roots sinking strong and sure in the mud.
A silver light flattens against
a small stinging palm, and
I am still awake.
The child is sleeping now. He drinks
The vision of a real world here, where
People have eyes, a face, and so do
Chairs, moss and corn stalks. I
Paint the hallway of a future mind in
Beauty, in hopes of beauty. The gloss reads
Of an earlier waking to be. The fat fly
Agrees with it all, but is not satisfied
With the flavor yet.
We will get it right.



Tough Love

When your mother died, you put away all the clothes in her
Closet ate a box of maple cookies and watched Stardust Memories
As the late afternoon sun stole hot nips from all the glass bottles
In the kitchen downstairs.
You were not ready to be done with anything,
Yet I insisted that all the makeup from another world was yelling
At me too loud in pink and beige tongues,
 the dense venom of her perfume
singing that same old Bruce Springsteen
Song where “we went down to the river” and I just about
double had enough. I asked
You to fold your skin neatly
 and placed it in the box next to the
Fire pit I dug outside with one            thin                 grief                 while the dogs
Chased the ball across a yard where no babies come to play.
You said that your mother would have wanted things to
End differently, that this was not the way to go, stuffing scraps of
guilt away in haste only to later abandon them all on
A cold curb dawn four blocks from the town post office.
I didn’t pay attention, because the fox in my throat
Was getting hungry, needed attention. It is not your
Fault, I guess I mean to say, that some roots don’t take
In the alkaline soil where old glacier ghosts are sleeping.
Not your fault that you never got more than an
Elementary understanding of the climate.
But it is your fault,
it is your fault,
for not remembering
not remembering
To lay the rails in the map of this one-time homeyard
Piece by piece
Blood by blood
For not telling me how to find myself in a land
where distances are fragile
like the gap between a comet tail and pigeon beak
Picking at the crumbs of the last real night on earth.

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