Three Poems by Rana Bickel






The Best Poems About Shenandoah Have Already Been Written But

misty clouds float over mountains carpeted in green
like angels breath hovering over the mossy forest floor
sky and earth transform from impenetrability to transparency
everything is full of holes up close

when fog is on mountain drive carefully
the white expanse punctuated by lines scrawled across the sky
the green by bales of hay mid roll
turn left onto skyline drive (as you approach)

cars sit still at the overlooks
holding their breath
god’s sighs heaving as they stretch
white waves rolling over green

when you walk through a cloud you’ll hardly know
just a kiss on your cheek and a hand in your hair
it’ll be cooler than you imagine and less soft
love doesn’t need to be solid to be real

there is absolutely nothing like the ocean

sunlight tantalizingly dusts your eyelashes
white frothiness on the edges

you rise
sleepily at first
like gentle silk devoutly praying
rocking back and forth rolling
a cautious sheen glimmering on your cheek
then blistering caravans become jagged mountains
fiercely escalating drawing from endless deep plains
a sweeping salute and then you sift down
jaggedly vibrating
fierce and fleeting

sheens of silver seep into sand
turquoise allblue mirror sunlight green
you don’t have a single face

The World Burns and i Tie My Shoes

A new plague variant sweeps the continent
i walk to the lake with my friends

Storms and fires ravish the west of the country
i make pasta at midnight

People sleep on the train every night
i call my mom before bed

Abortion is about to be banned
i kiss a girl in the alley behind my house

The government kills relentlessly
i read books about different galaxies

Companies steal data
i sleep till 11:00 on the weekends

By 2050 all of Miami will be submerged
i buy a new umbrella

The world burns and i
I wake up every morning

Rana Bickel (she/they) is a queer Jewish poet from Maryland. She is a recent graduate of Barnard College where she was a member of the slam poetry team. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Jewish Literary Journal and Thimble Literary Magazine. She loves books, community, and rainstorms.

Image by I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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