THE CITY OF ST. PIERRE, THE ‘LITTLE PARIS,’ WAS SHOWERED WITH VOLCANIC DUST AND THE SEA FOR MILES WAS LITTERED WITH DEAD BIRDS

 

Emily Vizzo

The City of St. Pierre, the “little Paris,” was showered with volcanic dust and the sea for miles was littered with dead birds
– David McCullough

Thirty years ago I tried to carve an angel
from Dove soap.

An easy Christmas ornament,
someone promised. I meant it

for my mother.
My knife kept slipping

on her face.
The shoulders were much sadder

than I planned.
And I did not realize that to hang

her I would need to push a hook
through her head.

Her wings were not real wings but
more like cancers or the thighs

of white grasshoppers
grasping her clumsy spine.

My hands are not clean.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Emily Vizzo is a writer, editor and educator whose work has appeared in FIELD, Blackbird, jubilat, North American Review, The Los Angeles Times, Next American City, and other publications. She previously covered Congress for the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C., and has written extensively on topics including the San Diego biotech industry, corporate social justice, surf, the arts, education, business, and health. Emily served as Assistant Managing Editor with Drunken Boat journal, and volunteered with VIDA, Writers Resist Los Angeles, Poetry International, and Hunger Mountain. Her essay, “A Personal History of Dirt,” was honored as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2013, and she was selected for inclusion within Best New Poets 2015. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net in 2015 and 2016, and, with the poet Curtis Bauer, she has published translations from Spanish appearing with From the Fishouse.