See our feature of Miriam's Archeology of Desire

Miriam is the Editor and Publisher of Santa Fe Poetry Broadside


More poetry by Miriam in Spring 2000

Miriam participated in our roundtable discussion on American Poetry in Spring 2000

Miriam is Founding Editor of Santa Fe Poetry Broadside


At bn.com:

Miriam Sagan




For more Poetry

Miriam Sagan


Sitting in the shade
I saw, crossing the leafy square,
My old friend, who sat
And talked with me a while
Insignificantly, of this and that
The coast, childhood.
And although he had a good wife
And I an excellent husband
I knew in the oddly intimate moment
That if we'd turned a different corner of fate
We could have just as easily
Been husband and wife
In another life, or in this life...

         * * *

Fucking in a chair
Rush-bottomed, my legs
Drawn up to let you in

Outside it is also hot
this laundry on the drying rack
might be our shadow

Freed from our ankles
Like angels
Of copulation.

In the House of Fallen Pears

In the house of fallen pears
No one kissed me

In the house of windfall apples
I received not even a glance

In the house of cosmos and sunflowers
The husband wrote over the wife's words

In the house of the sad poet
A child drowned in the acequia

In the house of stolen peaches
I took one for myself

I did not bring it home to you
I ate it alone, and spit the stone

On to the palm of my hand
Where the lines converge, of life and love

In the house of fallen pears
In the house of the ripe green pears

36 Moons

         after Yoshitoshi

1. reading by moonlight
the unraveling

2. moon through the crumbling window

3. moon through the bamboo lattice

4. bag lady moon

5. red-light district moon
women sitting in windows
like fruit baskets

6. moon of the lonely house

7. moon of the Beverly Hills mansion

8. pointing a finger at the moon,
stop showing off—
you think that answered
my question?

9. moon at Otowi Bridge
the tearoom woman

10. moon on the Animas River
class three rapids. . .

11. whiskey-colored moon
staggering up the stairs
in the air above Manhattan

12. hear her breasts in the bath. . .

13. Chrysler tower
art deco moon

14. there must also
be a moon in Nebraska
over what you imagine:
stubbled wheat fields

15. you used to call this
“the floaty life”
just hanging around
the old apartment

16. living for the moment
if not exactly in it

17. Lady Chiyo
with her broken bucket
that does not reflect
the moon

18. wood block print
of the beautiful courtesan
in the remote village

19. or a page
torn from “Genjii”

20. an iron cauldron

21. frying pan moon

22. moonlight on snow. . .
it must be
early morning

23. moon
over Sun Mountain

24. the moon and smoke

25. or the moon that cast our shadow
away from us
out walking those darkened roads

26. the first thing
I ever realized was beautiful
moon rising
when I was four years old
over the dunes
at Fox's Bottom Beach

27. the moon of the enemy's lair—
a bit of fractured

28. the moon men walked. . .
was it this moon?

29. lost button.
where the tooth ache
once was

30. samurai's horned helmet

31. outhouse door

32. the face of the clock
without hands

33. white moon
beneath thumbnail

34. small of punctuation

35. it repeats
maybe you were right after all

hazy moon
hazy moon