Two Poems

an inhospitable sea

this being the distance
          from one continent to another

between                                        space    and     space
                                                         time       and    time

                a crapshoot
                                      come what may

                                                           often         (as not

                            to be kicked over         after dark

                a map becomes useless

                              thread heavy

                                              mistaken         (for scrap




everything else is a bomb

this is a photograph of the jewish cemetery
at Biala Podlaska there is a fence and inside
only grass there is nothing else just the space
just the size of the fence and how many
there were and now only a fence and a field


a memorial
for 12,000




                                        two tombstones

                                             here     here




Lisa Birman’s chapbooks include deportation poems and o – a conversation. She is co-editor of Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action, and recent work has appeared in admit2, Square One, not enough night, Bombay Gin, and Thuggery & Grace. Her new book, for that return passage: A Valentine for the United States of America, is forthcoming in the Fall. She is the Director of the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University, where she also teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing and Prague Study Abroad Program. Lisa is from Melbourne, Australia.