Gingerbread House Lit Mag

Four and a Half Poems for October


October is unsure of itself:
stuck between September and November,
the middle child of decay,
it tries to bite its elbows unsuccessfully
because it never ran away with the circus,
never became a contortionist,
and it’s sure no one ever told it,
You are so beautiful.

I would, but I’m a spring poet
so October wouldn’t believe me,
and we laugh nervously
when we talk about it.


In October night troubles me.
Morning troubles me also.

I hurry to make anything of it,
to leave a residue of use.

My body is patient with me:
it knows its own eternity
and remembers to fall asleep
when I forget to switch off the light.

When it approaches a stranger’s body
it threads itself onto love and speech
with a fluency I can’t fathom.

My body is indulgent:
it still doesn’t stop me
from writing this poem.


October is right
for picking potatoes.

Misshapen fists waiting in the soil.

During harvest time,
stuffed with emptiness,
I am a poet for crows.

For them I wait patiently.

I name that wait MY COUNTRY.


Statues know they look good.

Outdoors in October
they are all white maidens
in gilded frames.

Shadow pools in their pupils—
the start of desire,
and Death isn’t showing
his bones just yet.

Hear how the statues laugh at us,
at our thin lie of skin.


The road is pockmarked with leaves,
and I read to October.
We argue about poetic license
and slander, until October tells me:

Hush and listen.
How the statues envy you when you say,
A word is flayed memory.

Olga Moskvina

Olga Moskvina was born in Russia and raised primarily in California.  She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and is currently working on a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures at Princeton University.  Her verse has appeared or is forthcoming in The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg ReviewZócalo Public Square, and Plum Tree.

Artwork: Oleg Oprisco

This entry was published on October 30, 2016 at 12:01 am and is filed under 21 (October 2016), Archive, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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