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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
Photo by Margarita Corporan.

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of the poetry collection Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and Florida Book Awards bronze medal for poetry, and a finalist for the Milt Kessler Award. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Translators Association, among others. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, The New York Times, and more. She serves as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair. For more information, please visit her website.

Other poems by this author