Susan Parr

Two poems from Susan Parr’s Devera

followed by a note on the author

The Soft Skin

 In the voice of Dido, Queen of Carthage

Aeneas with fever:
stoney, a sweet, a

sacked pers-
on I attend

with a cool cloth—
but he won’t

signal by moving

or even feet—
he won’t sign

or press by grasping—
only determined alive

wherein I dimple
with my tongue.


Thalia’s Horology

I carried a cloud; I thought
it was gentle—

orca, ape, or peaches;
according to the wind.

It bad-dreamed on me,
so I wiped along

our foggy mosey.
But it kept dumping

in my mouth. Listing—
my crony dripping

England, ship, cabooses
tucking in, pil-

ing on my breath;
it made my mock

nutrition. It sugar-
daddied my light duty—

the crystal sky pimp-
le, a pox—so I wolfed

and snarfed—until it tick-
led me to crack up

clowns, puppets, players
in jaw-window.


Susan Parr is the author of the poetry collection Pacific Shooter (Pleiades Press, 2009). Educated in Russian Studies at Barnard College, and via exchange at (then) Leningrad State University in the U.S.S.R., she went on to earn an MFA in Poetry from the University of Washington in 2005. She has contributed to publications and anthologies including DIAGRAM, PageBoy, The Seattle Review, POETRY, and the Best American Poetry series. She lives in Seattle.