Who Lived Among Them

By Olivia Clare b. 1982 Olivia Clare
Two rooms, the Aegean, 2008,
there lived a rhapsode and his wife.
When they ate, they ate straight
from the vine. Her curves, sibilance,
Serbo-Croatian chants. His chants,
curves of clocks, burnished bells.
When they ate, they boiled wings and gills.

Nights, slate olives, he couldn’t see.
Your words are what’s missing of me.
Nights, slate olives, the girl who watched
goats leapt the fence
of fret wire to watch
the rhapsode’s wife writhe lily-wide.
When they ate, they ate straight from the fire.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).

 Olivia  Clare


Olivia Clare was born in New York in 1982 and raised in Louisiana. She earned a BA in English from University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has been published in Southern Review, London Magazine, Poetry, FIELD, and other journals. She was the 2008-2009 Olive B. O'Connor Fellow at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. She is also working on a collection of short stories.
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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Desire

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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