Raphael Dagold

Decimation Coda 1

[                                                            ]

Smell of peat steeped in rivulets.
Wracked passage up one hill.

          then if: but I could not.

                    because the blossom

which regard for her bloodied me
like gravel, or meant to say bodied


Bird, bird, bird, bird, sparrow.



Decimation Coda 3

          and where, and where, and where

                    , failing
light at one pitch

          discovered ticket

mower cord mangled, quick spark
snuffed in clumped grass
          wired money [                              ]

          long strand picked off before arrival
home tableauxed with wrong memorabilia
                    imagined rubble, hoarse
calling toward one
ear, inflated


Decimation Coda 5

                    is this possible, attenuated

Again the rubble. And it was evening
in the first month. The city nearby.
But a plain between us. What made

                                                            How thin.
How, at first,
[                                                                              ]

one river, a bridge, two bridges, four.
Turbid swell in the morning, brown sheen
a matted winter



Decimation Coda 9

                    taste you, which never

but a bracelet from your filamented wrist

and driving off took it in my mouth,
silver like iron blood


strangers’ dogs on an estuary’s beach
what breed                                   A sudden
cargo ship, its rust-streaked water-line
my fingers’ rare touch along your parted

as if claiming lack as if possible
to claim


Raphael Dagold's first book, Bastard Heart, was published in 2014 by Silverfish Review Press, and was a finalist for the Utah Book Award in Poetry. His poems and essays have won numerous awards, and have appeared in journals such as The Asheville Poetry Review, The American Literary Review, The Antioch Review and The North American Review. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Humanities and Creative Writing at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, but spent most of this summer at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Jentel Foundation working on a book of essays.