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Above the Thin Shell of the World

By Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

I fell in love with a North Korean

by falling asleep on his shoulder

in a South Korean subway.

Later, perhaps because of that,

I misread the Arabic word gurfa,

not as the amount of water

that can be held in one hand,

but as the amount of wonder.

As if one’s entire history could be

measured one handful at a time.

As if we knew another way.

Added: Friday, September 30, 2016
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, winner of the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, and Last Train to the Midnight Market (2013). A Kundiman and Knight Foundation poetry fellow, her work has appeared in Best New Poets 2015, Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, Narrative Magazine, and more. She serves as co-founding editor for Print-Oriented Bastards, assistant editor for Jai-Alai Magazine, and producer for The Working Poet Radio Show.

Other poems by this author