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  • Robert L. Giron

Issue 45 — Stanley Niamatali

Stanley Niamatali


I bring you a papaya; you call me

your sailor. The knife lays bare symmetry

of halves, once one. Succulent sienna flesh,

germinated from a hard seed of this earth,

melts with a delicacy unlike this earth.

Pulpy seeds release savory fire.

The sky is full of birds.

You put your hands over

your eyes. Jude, your hound, howls

at a spiraling leaf. The blue

shell in the fallen nest oozes

liquid time. I reach for your hand.

Copyright © 2011 by Stanley Niamatali.


When peaches, heavy with juice, break

from their stems, she leaves the hollow

in the blue Camaro.

Beside the tilting trailer, her mother stands

under the green hickory with the rotty-mix

growing smaller in the side-view mirror.

Refugee in a strange land, her tomato plant,

arrested in its pot, spreads branches

for sunlight that does not shine its way.

On a morning beset with thunder, she kneels

on the linoleum and goes into labor

for the man biting into another peach.

Sixteen was previously published in Anthology of Appalachian Writers, 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Stanley Niamatali.

The Cursed Tree

From the germ and wet

blackness of this dirt,

you sprout, golden.

Frail, you uncoil with the day. Feel

the weight of atoms multiply.

Burrow. Rise. Flower.

Stylish crepe petticoat,

stigma to bees dusting

and brushing receptacle.

Petals fold. Dry.

Fall. Seed



tell me the sin

of my branch.

The Cursed Tree was previously published in Full Circle Nineteen by Guild Press in 1998.

Copyright © by Stanley Niamatali.


Stanley Niamatali, a Guyanan poet, is a professor of English at Montgomery College, in Rockville, Maryland. His poetry has been published by Oberon, Full Circle and Anthology of Appalachian Writers and The Caribbean Writer. He lives with his wife and son in Martinsburg, WV.

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