Nocturne by Rivka Nomberg

My flashlight calls out to the lunar eclipse

like a lighthouse.

This is the field where I set sail.

My carrots have gone rabid,

Tall and thick-armed, ugly.

They keep company with the extinct

sunflowers, once mammoth;

the birds have pecked out all their eyes.

Night gardening is another thing.

The black sky has no answer for me;

it is all soil and squall tonight.

A storm-seeded tree is pirating the boxwood –

its ovate leaves, swords, cutting out the center,

eating the heart.

It is not skimming like the palo

verde pushing up the mailbox.

It is not arching like the sextant

vigilant mesquite.

I pace the deck, worried about the invader’s

intent, its careless spatial relations,

pointing toward my only remaining gourd,

an innocent hand.

The dry air decries any monsoon; it’s going to be

another killer.


Rivka Nomberg comes from a family of Yiddish writers and organizers, physicians, Talmudic scholars, automobile mechanics, and woodworkers. Her interests include raising children, gardening, cooking, love, and medicine. Her poetry has been or will be published by the Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh, Swimming with Elephants, the Ember Chasm Review, Write On, Downtown, the West Trade Review, Common Ground Review, Thuya Poetry Review, and Glosses, the Stanford Undergraduate Literary Journal. She lives in Arizona.

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