Poems: Ruth Baumann

Illo for Ruth Baumann's poems.


Untranslatable the miles of hatred.
Blood blooming like generations of thought.
It can’t hear you, the depths. It just makes you
yell louder & louder. I see a nation
of my father. I see a nation
of my mother. Blood blooming,
glistening in the daylight: because now
they can be in the daylight, unabashed.
All the serpents now naked & full
of guttural cries. We’re free they say,
mistaking a hiss for a voice.


Weird small fires in my head blocking.
America you’re drunk it’s not ok.
America I’m tired of sympathizing
with abusers. America is hell
so whitewashed. Light this morning
so thin like a film, sticky & fragile, like
an animal fluid this sun, like
something has given birth. America
you creature with the ugliest
hungriest pulse, stop hatching yourself.

New Field of Movement

One day it just broke, the anger—

Then where were we? I tried
to catch the light it took with it too,
cupping my hands & reaching

for nothing. I’ve been swallowed
before, by cities, by men, but never

but never but never like this.
Ruth Baumann is the author of three chapbooks: Retribution Binary (Black Lawrence Press, forthcoming 2017), wildcold (Slash Pines Press, 2016), and I’ll Love You Forever & Other Temporary Valentines (Salt Hill, 2015). Her poems have been published in Colorado Review, Sonora Review, Sycamore Review, The Journal, Third Coast, and others. She is a PhD candidate at Florida State University and holds an MFA from the University of Memphis.

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