Hila Ratzabi was selected by Adrienne Rich as a recipient of a National Writers Union Poetry Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the chapbook The Apparatus of Visible Things (Finishing Line Press). Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Narrative, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, Linebreak, The Nervous Breakdown, and other literary journals. Her work has also appeared in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Philadelphia where she founded the Red Sofa Salon & Poetry Workshop.
The thing about light
is when it moves
back and forth
over the frozen river
it’s an accordion
The thing about wind
is it lifts
the little chins
of each branch
in the snow
Inside the studio
What else could I do
but ask to be included
among the sensible elements?
I step through the window
sit down in the snow
Sometimes I ignore them and they leave me alone.
Sometimes I miss them and they return.
I stayed home for three days during the storm.
I haven’t been the same since then.
The spirits arrive like fireflies in my brain.
They sweep the floors with their wings.
One time I asked them to teach me
How to tame the hurricane.
They spliced the spell to my body,
Filled my eyes with fire, my throat with ice.
Then they left the door swinging open in the rain.