Skip to main content
/ Two Poems

Two Poems

by Tamara L. Panici


tehy airervd by peapr arilpnae / alolwed olny the mxaumim
mniiumm / the coleths wrmaed on their bkacs / lesonss mormezied
via duolbe wekeonlg eglinsh cuosre / a ntoe taht raed i lvoe you
vrery mcah / and nueonral tircks porcetinjg the psat itno pesrnet /
tehy wroekd at htoles / cealend vimot and drity beiddng / mtoher
kewn too ltitle wrods to rperot sloetn atrciels of cthloing / her olny
piar of jaens and sohes gnoe / ftaher vucuaemd /mtoher solhsed
trhuogh rgerguatited noen maels in the bahtoorms bteewen
hseoueepknig ruodns / mtoher atetmtepd odrenig cikchen / ktihecn
she rpeeaetd aigan and agian kchiten / no ckhcein / olny amrecian
baerd / colynigly sahccranie on the esatren eroupaen platae and
lagre prefcet furit evreywehre / dceieivng / lkie fsale silmes / tehy
sqiutred bttoels of galss claneer / poelpe bron in the rhigt palecs
derseve sinhy mrirors / a gsuh of txoic bule to bfuf out hnadirpnts
and seamrs / who wsihes to be frogoettn? / in the scenod wrold a
bdoy bcemeos its prats / ecah one dnagreous in its own rhigt / the
teteh and tnouge srtian to btie tohught itno lnagauge / a bwol of
cbabgae nveer sfufcies to sitfel a hnuegr / yuor nmae is oehtr /
yares ltaer mtoher akss agian for ceickhn / tihs tmie she gtes a
bckuet of freid daed brids / her muoht has laenred the porper
sahpes / her muoht has lraenred to dirnk bdoeis / ecah one has
enugoh wtaer to dorwn in / dorwn in / dorwn

People Are Filled with Dull Stars

Romania, December 1989

The dictator knows he will be shot dead.
He hopes the bullet will miss his vital thoughts.
He’d like to imagine the executioners, their mercy,
the few seconds it takes to load weaponry.
Nothing is that simple. No one knows who will kill the dictator.
Several men form a wall and it isn’t meant to protect anyone.
Their bodies are put into position to contain the dangers of starving cattle owners, 
of leading women to scrape out their insides, 
of teaching children how to pick cherries instead of teaching math or history.
The sky has been emptied of its poetry for decades. 
A cloud erupts and the horizon breaks open.
Within a few blinks, the dictator is transported
into a realm where he no longer knows of his existence. 
His wife is over-dressed 
as usual. She attempts to beguile the crowd, pleads sanity 
until the small silver jewel tunnels 
through the paper of her skull.

Tamara L. Panici

About Tamara L. Panici

Tamara L. Panici’s poems and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in such places as Mom Egg ReviewWild Roof JournalPrometheus DreamingCrab Creek ReviewStorm Cellar QuarterlyThe American Journal of PoetrySugar House Review, and elsewhere. She won the 2018 River Styx Microfiction Contest. She lives in D.C. and is expecting her first child.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.