candlemas – maria berardi


The aspen stand like a cemetery,
upright, gray as ice, bark furred
with white velvet, and their sad
hieroglyphic eyes witness, witness.

The aspen stand straight as the deer
they camouflage, trunks bars
of invisibility. This little stand
is a house of ghosts.

Their twigs stick like fairy-tale fingers.
All their bones are showing,
it is a magic defense. And in each tip,
tight as a heartbeat,

the bud, the knowledge compressed to potency
in each of these desolate soldiers, these angels:
like a sex dream
spring surges in darkness.

sbgs cowskull

Maria Berardi’s work has appeared in local and national magazines and online (13 Magazine, Voca Femina, Mothering, The Opiate, getborn and most recently Twyckenham Notes, Luna Luna, and 8th street publishing guild). Her first collection, Cassandra Gifts, was published in 2013 by Turkey Buzzard Press, and she is currently at work on her second (a chapbook, or perhaps not, entitled Pagan). She lives in the Front Range foothills west of Denver at precisely 8,888 feet above sea level .

Her process is one of listening for transmissions from the cosmic radio and trying to catch them on paper before they dissipate: the glimpse, the complicated knowledge.

She may be reached at

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