Panic Grass 

What was I starving for
in an incredible hurry & ultra-luminous?
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa cannot presume
to say. Like her I no longer trust the world;
but the darkness is not having its bats.
When it came for my turn to exist, I wept like a gong.
I was a body I didn’t know: in it the dare-tongue
of worthwhileness naming thing after thing—
carnelian, slip knot, queenfish.
Love mounted its saddle at the welkin-gate
& in a jiffy took off. Why just look: it dresses
the strongbox of each & every heart that’s been given!
Back then, I thought you were dying. In the antechamber
of forgiveness, all the faucets had begun to drip.
Nothing would ever look so wondrous
to the Spirit ladling its hands in
odd liquid. I watched the taps rearrange
themselves in private like angel-traffic
& wanted to laugh for a moment. Cheek to cheek,
in the panic grass. It goes without saying: what has ended.
What has just started. Taller, this hour, that buzzes in the forest of us.

Elisávet Makridis is a Pushcart-nominated poet raised between Queens, NY and Greece. She studied psychology and poetry at Sarah Lawrence College where she was the recipient of the Andrea Klein Willison Poetry Prize (2015) and the Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry (2016). Her work has been featured in or is forthcoming from Bellevue Literary ReviewTupelo Quarterly (finalist for the 2018 Poetry Open Prize), Crab Creek Review, GristFrontier Poetry, and The Poetry Annals. She can be found online at or on Twitter: @elisahvet. Her heart swims somewhere in the Mediterranean.