Laura Braverman

Aum

My father held a conch shell
to my ear, said: Listen — here.

We were home, I think,
nowhere near the sea, but the whoosh and quiet roar
I heard put me squarely there.

Was it blood I heard?
My own salt tides, surging with each well-timed
push —

or air, swirling in and out through spirals
of a golden mean?

All I knew was this:

the conch made something small seem vast,
and something vast
seem small.

A Year Now Almost

since we moved here
I pass it every day:

a small blue plastic-covered book
in the crook
of an olive tree,
left maybe
by one house construction worker.

The pages weathered
by months
of revolution and recession,
pandemic, nitrate explosion —

by way
of days and nights,
storms and sun.

Now warped, discolored, chalked,
the text in Arabic compact,

Bible or Quran —
the olive tree doesn’t wonder.

Nymphaea

Fishpond this morning —
a petalled star of cream and canary.

Exuberant unfolding
while the band of small koi is still

and hidden.
Under rock in algae shadow,
still unsure of spring.

About the Author

Laura Johanna Braverman is a writer and artist. Salt Water, her first collection of poetry, was published in 2019 by Cosmographia Books. She recently earned her Masters in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her poems have appeared in Plume, Levure Litteraire, Sky Island Journal, and New Plains Review, among other journals, and in the anthology Awake in the World, II. She lives in Lebanon with her family.