Sestina for Miró’s Hunter



Some days, the light trims my edges

until I am a stick figure, raising my bow

to shoot the sun, the great roach

that scuttles across the sky. Other days, I lie

like a fish corpse in the dried riverbed.

In the old myths, I gathered olives.


I was round then, and green as an olive.

I clung to the orchard’s edge,

never complained, and kept a tidy bed

of wheat. I’d harvested only the soft tips that bow

in the wind, piled it all like a swan’s nest, dreaming to lie

in the shade. Like a girl, I slept as still as a roach,


which is not still at all. A roach

is like a shark and must always move. An olive

is like a shark too, because it cannot lie.

Blood is blood, green is green, ripe is ripe. To edge

along the horizon is to steer the bow

of the ship towards something dusty. The seabed,


perhaps. Before I was a hunter, my restless bones ground my bed

to flour beneath me. Every divinity has her own roach

that whispers the future. I command: Dip like a paddle to the water. Bow

to me. It doesn’t work, so I dream the day I vanquish my prophet. I pit an olive

like I pierce my enemy. Straight through. The edge

of the target is not enough. When anyone asks, I lie


and say I have always been this lean. I lie

in the shadow of an obelisk and remember my bed

which I long ago mixed with yeast and watched rise to the edge

of dominion. The problem with a roach
is that it cannot drown. It can live without a head, or in a vat of olive

oil. Once, I was mistaken for a bird’s bowed


neck, and I wanted so bad to bow

into that image, to sing a green song, bicycle across the sky, lie

in wait of seasonal change. Pinched between my thumb and pointer, an olive

cannot make a hunter of me, nor a flaming pipe, nor a bed

of bones. The eye is a target that blinks as fast as a roach

disappears into a crevice. Pink and lemon, the horizon’s edge


is now as sharp as the string on my bow, or the edge

of a lie about to come true. I think I am becoming my roach.

I can survive even on grease, a drop of sweet olive oil, and in a pinch, a sofa bed.

Emma Fuchs (rhymes with books) is a poet, printmaker and aspiring filmmaker. Emma has many homes but she currently lives in Lille, France, where she teaches English as a foreign language and dreams of endless summer. She is a poetry reader at TriQuarterly and her work is forthcoming in Soft Quarterly and Public Parking.