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Miles Mikofsky is a writer and student currently on leave from the University of Chicago. He is a recipient of the Lamont Younger Poets Prize (2017). He lives in Troy, NY.



they come you’re bent over the sink

washing another dish


as with this dish with mind of

suds, you forget


another dish you’ve met again, now

waiting in the cabinet


Water tastes

to the dry and craving,

Dunks her head

into the pool of you


Knees weak,

Niacin flush,

Moment of­ plane

off ground


Lids give in,

The thing wings do,

Horsebody &



Ears ring,

Nimbus of rainbow

planes cast on

carpets of clouds


Baffling tsugite joinery,

Wurlitzer resonant and



Bundle up and put a bow on the package,

A kiss on the spot where her nose meets her eyes   

Under the thick brow of a wool winter cap ­–

Little daughter more stuck to your side than burrs.


Daughter who cooked her finger on the woodstove

And kisses the windows with all of her face.

The realtor said, “With a view of Moosehead Lake.”

You looked and you signed without flood insurance


Because, in Maine, your disaster is remote,

Not clutching the hem of your garment with reek

& schizophrenia at Bowery Station.

Commuting, bodies press hipclose — touch but do


Not talk. She took you this way, out of nowhere,

Her mother who reached down the back of the stove

Of your breast pocket.


They’re making the Uyghurs pick cotton,

The police of the CCP.

Or have we already forgotten?


I think of the fact of it often;

My ancestry cannot sleep.

They’re making the Uyghurs pick cotton.


What’s Xinjiang to you, in Boston?

But I know Thoreau weeps.

Or have we already forgotten?


“Vocational training centers” = coffins

Filled with deportees.

They’re making the Uyghurs pick cotton.


Families unraveled from bobbins.

Cotton, i.e. your sheets.

Or have you already forgotten?


Something in Xinjiang is rotten,

Mass-surveilling her pastoral sweep.

They’re making the Uyghurs pick cotton.

Or have we already forgotten?

“I picked the same design, in a different color. It has worn very well.”
         —Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at the memorial service of Antonin Scalia

I think I am my nature.

I think you are as well.


.السلام عليكم

.وعليكم السلام


What a gift birds have to fly.

What a gift to witness one.


God, fletch me blue as a jay!

Well, you can dress like one.


How long has it been?

How long has it been since what?


Knock, knock, who’s there?



Rest at the trees on that ridgeline?

If they smell vanilla it’s—


called Ponderosa Pine.

Yeah. Let’s boogie, I gotta piss.


And if violence is my nature?

He asks me on a cliff.


I see you as a teacher.

I see you as a friend.


The River! Sounds like the sea!

Race to the bottom? Don’t fall!


Winner gets salmon.

You know I’ll share it.


Shall we?

We shall.

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