Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
The Sonnet Issue
For My Beloved
I was a banquet, a thousand and one dishes
flavors perfumed my fingers, stained my hands.
Fragrance dusted my pillow: coriander,
anise, cumin. Each night, a thousand wishes
bloomed: hand-in-hand, we crisscrossed the city
smoky with charcoal braziers, scaled the Palace
of Universal Happiness. I’d fall
asleep in his arms, pepper wind gritty
against my skin.
My beloved is gone.
I bind moonlight in my hair, listen
for footsteps at the gate: the moon grows old.
I brush cumin from my fingers, fold
my heart in paper lanterns, glistening
in stillness till I flicker out, alone.
Katherine E. Young is the author of Day of the Border Guards (University of Arkansas, 2014), a finalist for the Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks: Van Gogh in Moscow (Pudding House Press, 2008), and Gentling the Bones (Finishing Line Press, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, and Subtropics. Young is also the translator of Farewell, Aylis by Azerbaijani political prisoner Akram Aylisli (Academic Studies Press, 2018), named one of 2018's "Eleven Groundbreaking Works" by Words Without Borders; as well as Blue Birds and Red Horses (Toad Press, 2018), and Two Poems (Artist's Proof Editions, 2014), both by Inna Kabysh. Her translations of Russian-language authors have appeared in Asymptote, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine, and 100 Poems About Moscow: An Anthology, winner of the 2017 Books of Russia Award in Poetry; several of her translations have been made into short films. Young was named a 2015 Hawthornden Fellow (Scotland), a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow, and a 2020 Arlington (VA) Individual Artist Grant awardee. From 2016 - 2018 she served as the inaugural Poet Laureate for Arlington, Virginia http://katherine-young-poet.com/ To read more by this author: Evolving City Issue, and Museum Issue