Two poems by Letitia Trent

Letitia Trent

Letitia Trent

Letitia Trent's books include One Perfect Bird (Sundress Publications) and the chapbooks Splice (Blue Hour Press) and The Medical Diaries (Scantily Clad Press). She is a graduate of the Ohio State University MFA program and has been a fellow at MacDowell and the Vermont Studio Center.

After Maya Deren's "At Land"

The sea beats
the woman's body, soundless
she turns with it, black
wall of foam crests and commas

Soundless, like water
in the ear, like a pillow wrapped
around my head
only the sound inside it:
the mechanics of breathing
teeth clicking
the whisk of blood in my temples

She lets it turn her,
black sea, and it runs back
gathering its skirts and curled feet
traceless, like metal shavings to a magnet

It almost seems like sound,
solid, and waves
against the body
like shouts

I've let it roll me
in its direction, soundless

toward the salt body
that turns me in the opposite
direction my blood runs





A succession of waves composed
In repetition, that's music, but what
About cricket-din, the coyote cries like
Ten separate, inconsolable children
Or the explosion of a jelly jar in the burn pile?

I stand too close
To the tight, charged hand
And duck the one
With a soft palm
Sparks, in any appliance, come from wires
Frayed and split
Spitting information
Into avenues that cannot receive it

I've returned, his body said,
But his mouth did not move all night