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Thursday, April 06, 2017


by Jo-Ella Sarich

A man carries the body of a child, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhun. Photograph: Ammar Abdullah/Reuters via The Guardian, April 5, 2017

My daughters’ faces, quivering beneath Heavy
Water, their lips pucker and slide breath
from the inception of the word to the final release of the air.

And I all at once catch a flicker of them in the air,
their lungs grown bone-heavy.
I seize breath, before my own breath

is pressed, mouth-to-mouth to force breath
to form the word in them, air
becomes mercury in the glass and the heavy

air between us too much like one breath or word-clouds across our heavy sky.

Jo-Ella Sarich has practised as a lawyer for a number of years, recently returning to poetry after a long hiatus. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Quarterday Review, Cleaver Magazine, Blackmail Press, Barzakh Magazine, Poets Reading the News, The Galway Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, takahē magazine and the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017@jsarich_writer