A Poem By Dorothea Tanning

A Poem By Dorothea Tanning

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

Are You?

If an expatriate is, as I believe, someone
who never forgets for an instant
being one,
then, no.

But, if knowing that you always
tote your country around
with you, your roots,
a lump

like a soul that will never leave you
stranded in alien subsets of
yourself, or your wild

that being elsewhere packs a vertigo,
a tightrope side you cannot
pass up, another way
to show

how not to break your pretty neck
falling on skylights:

then, yes. All homes are home; mirages
everywhere. Aside from
gravity, there are no

never were, nor will there ever be,
no here and there to foil
your lotus-dreaming

Stay on the planet, if you can. It isn’t
all that chilly and what’s more,
grows warmer by the

Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012) was a painter, sculptor, and writer.

This poem was published in Tanning’s first book,

A Table of Content (2004), and in LIT. It is reprinted here by kind permission of Graywolf Press.

What’s that you say? One poem isn’t enough for you, you want all the poems? Very well. Here are all the poems.

You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.