and green and fresh as a cucumber pickle,

sharp in the mouth, and soft green too,

soft and new as the sweater you bought me,

holding me young.


As young as love, a humble sip,

the smallest sip of warm green tea,

grounded like gymnasts learning to stick

fast to the landing.


As young as a flock of parakeets,

chattering green, holding us up

to the air, clumsy blunders of green,

dashed into shivers.


As young as green in the eyes of a cat,

the eyes of a cat eternity’s green,

what we take with us after we’ve shed

what’s left of our thunder.


by Gwen Jensen


Birthright, Gwendolyn Jensen’s first book of poems, was published in 2011. Her second book, As If Toward Beauty, was released in 2014. The print and online journals where her poems and translations have appeared include The Comstock Review, Harvard Review, Salamander, and Stickman Review.

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