Death, Perfect & Reverberation

Arlene Naganawa

Photograph by Michael Howarth (2022)

Death, Perfect

a stillness
will appear in your body

in the ravines and hollows
the sunlight filling

(a breath
we had not noticed—

trill of a little wren)

this will be the present
you’ve waited for

without knowing
leaves detaching

one by one

stems silent
(the winter trees)


on the other side
a place                 inside

perfectly still
the rest               the holidays

the snow           the gray blue

thought             closed down
we were given

some other      paths
short flight      a lamp

it was too         high
in the rain        sneaking about

covering            my face
standing            in murk

a bad dream     nightdress

getting dark

Arlene Naganawa

Arlene Naganawa is the author of the chapbooks, Private Graveyard (Gribble Press), The Scarecrow Bride (Red Bird Chapbooks,) The Ark and the Bear (Floating Bridge Press), and We Were Talking About When We Had Bodies (Ravenna Press). Her work has appeared in The Inflectionist Review, Crab Creek Reviews, Waxwing, Fatal Flaw, Whale Road Review, and previously in LaPiccioletta Barca. She currently works with Pongo Poetry Project, writing with youth in detention. Website:

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