A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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Two Poems by Risa Denenberg

And That Is Why There Are No Origin Stories Any More

A pair of eagles, two giraffes,

& the two of us stood there stupidly

awaiting side by side, while fish

grew wings and flew south to winter

at the tiny ledge of ice melting

the southernmost tip of earth.


Whoever finds our ruins may wonder

how many millennia it took to heal

swamp grass & redwood trees,

wild goats & floppy-eared elephants.


I want the Ark to stop pairing same-same.

It’s not working. Try something new.

Pair the blue whale with a green sea turtle.

Bring back the wooly mammoth.

I’m having that last-ghost-orchid-feeling

again. All the pretty colors lost.

The great flood has come and gone.

No one is counting any more.

Enough Beauty in This World

Someone on Twitter asked us to recall the most beautiful

place we’d ever seen. I said Earth, because

I’ve never been to another planet.

I am exhausted & dirty & abandoned &

I still said Earth. Floating at the helm of my lonely seabed,

I survey the damage, the centuries of neglect,

& whisper Earth. Married to sheepskin, to the elk herd,

to Sundays with only the radio for company, I vow

to love my only mother. I’ve been handed moments,

small & large. I’ve lived a life unsung, in many places:

Miami, Kabul, Jerusalem, Seattle. I’ve traveled by plane,

by ferry, on the Jetstream. I’ve trekked barefoot in ballet flats.

I’ve walked for days in the desert with only a blanket of water.

All of this, just to remind me I live here. & still I say Earth.

Risa Denenberg

Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is a co-founder of Headmistress Press, curator at The Poetry Café Online, and an avid book reviewer. Her most recent publications include the full length collection, slight faith (MoonPath Press, 2018) and the chapbook, Posthuman, finalist in the Floating Bridge 2020 chapbook competition.


Risa Denenberg