Iowa Writes


I was in love in the library. I had a perch, and a future
life in symbols. I'd been listening to the radio.

The kitchen bubbled a bath of wilting leaves, a sauce
thick with blood and a half spoon of vinegar.

In the hall of books the swinging perch and doll eyes wobbled.
A song came on. A dove song.

Empty of bones full of liver without gall my heart
open, the blood clot which forms in the middle removed.

Arrange my heart on a round plate. It is a small heart
and a small plate, the doll's a girl at the window plays with.

Stop, warm library. Stop, square window, tender symbol. Stop
little girl the peacemaker, wooden grip and polished nickel.

She was going to miss me, miss all of us.
She was hungry; it was late.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Melissa Ginsburg is author of the poetry collection Dear Weather Ghost, forthcoming from Four Way Books, and the chapbook Arbor (New Michigan Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Pleiades, Forklift Ohio, Caketrain, and other magazines. She teaches writing at the University of Mississippi and lives in Oxford, MS.

This page was first displayed
on November 02, 2011

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