Karren LaLonde Alenier


when I meet death
on that narrow road
my hands are empty

my sister and I have
already left the stones
we have stolen from

the local bank piled
on our parents’ graves
I am defenseless

my shoes are wet
from the ceaseless
rain around their markers

I have poured a little of what
remains of the man who kissed
me nightly by certificate we had

but seventeen years a jet stream
that carried our joys our sorrows
not my time to take up residence

in the family garden death brushes
by me only to remind I too am
the sum of my bones


Karren LaLonde Alenier is author of seven collections of poetry, including Looking for Divine Transportation (The Bunny and the Crocodile Press, 1999), winner of the 2002 Towson University Prize for Literature, and The Anima of Paul Bowles (MadHat Press, 2016), selected as a 2016 top staff pick by the Grolier Book Shop in Boston. Her poetry and fiction have been published in the Mississippi Review, Jewish Currents, and Poet Lore. Her opera Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On, with composer William Banfield, premiered by Encompass New Opera Theatre under the direction of Nancy Rhodes in New York City June 2005. For Scene4 Magazine, she writes a monthly column about Gertrude Stein and the arts called “The Steiny Road to Operadom.” To read more by this author: Five poems, Volume 3:4, Fall 2002; Audio Issue, Volume 9:4, Fall 2008