Two Poems

first snow lesson


Let me teach you about the cold:

how sometimes it mimics the thundering

of a moon-less dream.


I’ve read you can dream now, but what of that

if you’ve never tasted the air? Perhaps the womb

is aurorae dew, cradling your brain.


As I gather the last snow of February,

an orange light glitters in the crown of my palm.

For now, you are unaware, hands possess power.


Begin at the nose, or the top of a pine tree.

Numb the wind-bird as he crosses,

losing a few feathers, a bit of dust.


Your head’s a cloud, heart the sun, and in between

is winter, begging you to stay inside the body.

Am I making too glum of ice?


If I can teach you anything about this world:

mind the white cold, how it can cover up

and keep the stars indoors.


Let the birds lead you into the light.

Some days you’ll hunger to rock

in the warmth of your own blood.


Leave the ruin of your life in that bed.

Know this mother wants you to come outside

and feed her some immaculate snow.


We all freeze to heaven, crystallize every bone.

birth and the aftermath of breasts


in horsefly fields: void of flowers

void of husbands & midwives:

animal clusters gnash into labor

with those birds

who were not planted

who were not wanted

who were the mountains tipping over/


in a village of lustered stones

i left behind: a donkey & 25 chickens

  & 2 sheep

  & 1 widow

& the severed contractions of severed

wheat-heads, in the yellow field: until


blood in the grass: oh, cellular level;

        stripes & scars: oh, skins torn & torn/

& shadows, bones: held together with strings—


in the sky, the sun & moon were a wrestling


against a skinny tree

and the moon was winning before

it choked—


& lastly

lights & a siren

        in the horsefly fields

        in the opening of the tender

—my births

(who didn’t cry to be alive)

who cracked their heads

like speckled eggs

like red clouds ready to hatch


& birth & birth, a baby again

because it’s spring; because the body is empty

because the lilac tree

lets down her purpled parts

to finger the holes we create

when a baby can’t latch

or turn a nipple into a star

NIKOLETTA NOUSIOPOULOS is a mother, wife, and poet who resides in Southeastern Connecticut.  She published all the dead goats in 2010 with Little Red Tree Publishing. Some of her poetry has appeared in Tammy, Pioneertown Literary Journal, Thin Noon, Meadowland Review, and others. She is taking some time off as an adjunct professor of writing to focus on motherhood and poetry.