June Sylvester Saraceno is author of the poetry collection Altars of Ordinary Light, as well as a chapbook of prose poems, Mean Girl Trips. Her work has appeared in various journals including American Journal of Nursing, California Quarterly, the Pedestal, Poetry Quarterly, Silk Road, Smartish Pace, Southwestern American Literature, Steel Toe Review andTar River Poetry. Publication in anthologies includes work in A Bird as Black as the Sun, California Poets on Crows and Ravens; Cradle Songs: Anthology on Motherhood; Tahoe Blues; Intimate Kisses: the poetry of sexual pleasure; Passionate Hearts: the poetry of sexual love. She is a professor and English Program Chair at Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, where she teaches in the BFA and MFA programs. She is also the founding editor of the Sierra Nevada Review. For more information visit her website here.
At a Bazaar
Under speckled light scattered from an antler chandelier,
I find strange wonders: a miniature Siberia plays Lara’s theme.
It fills me with nostalgia, how I wept for Zhivago and his loves.
A blue and white porcelain shoe conjures my grandmother.
A yellowed map, so brittle I still and hold my breath near it.
At one table, a woman talks to the child at her feet … just lay down,
… go to sleep. By the time you wake up, you’ll be home.
The girl is curled on a faux Persian rug rolled over the cement floor.
I look at her tangle of brown hair and wonder at this simple magic,
her travel from place to place through the incantation of sleep.
I wonder if I lie down beside her which home I would wake in.
I want to keep nothing, even though these treasures ease me.
I drift through a boomerang of dust, dusk gathers, hum of slow,
unpremeditated conversations droning in this hive.
For months, I’ve been little other than a zoo of nerves,
but this makeshift world with its bone structure lighting,
each stall with its own singular beasts of flotsam,
or history, or revamped trash, are as soothing as stabled horses
snorting out a soft, wet invitation to throw yourself on
the back of something that breaks from the dark
into a gallop, and head out heedless on the path to daylight.