A Cete of Badgers, A Sleuth of Bears

Martina Reisz Newberry

In recent dreams, the desert bites at my life,
trying to take in pieces what it tried to
take all at once while I lived there. In a town

of tanned bodies, tanned faces, I stayed pale as
a finger bone. Unable to maintain a
noble silence, I tore at my hair, ran through

the bars and restaurants, my soul nipping
at my heels. On the patios where the
precious pay dearly for drinks, conversations

were made of Os—no silences, no sounds of
turning pages. I watched the sun all day,
everyday, that 3 o’clock “O be joyful”

waiting for me—ice cubes or champagne flutes, it
was all the same. Vicious sand, rolling sight and
sound backwards so that each day began “Is this

today or is it tomorrow?” There was no
news but good news, brains don’t ripple like biceps
do. When my city and I reclaimed each other,

fireworks flew, our cat of nineteen years died,
the gal down the hall died, the sirens screamed through
the night. I love it here. This city is not

your mom. Los Angeles is no picnic with
wine tasting and water crackers. It’s a stack
of cannonballs on one side of the street and
a murder of crows on the other.

About the Work

Martina Reisz Newberry

Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions). She is the author of seven poetry collections and has been widely published in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. A passionate lover of Los Angeles, Martina currently lives there with her husband Brian and their fur baby, Charlie T. Cat.

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