August Qualia
Lisa Russ Spaar

Crave for a briny shore,
a particular line of short hairs
filing magnetically down
a particular torso, just so.

A suffering that day flickers over,
the “raw feel”—ripe melon attar
of first crickets, sidestep
to a crown of an idleness the field

only seems to wear, already deep
in its changes. Rare coins. Strange:
the viral mandala seeds make
in a sliced aubergine. Does know thyself

translate to observe? Or obscure?
Masked meanings. Shame settling? Lifting?

Lisa Russ Spaar is the author and editor of over 12 books of poetry and literary criticism, most recently More Truly and More Strange: 100 Contemporary American Self-Portraits (Persea 2020) and Madrigalia: New & Selected Poems (Persea 2021). Her national awards include a Rona Jaffe Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Pushcart and Best American Poetry Series awards. She is director and professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Read Lisa Russ Spaar interviewed by Emily Yaremchuk.


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