Ariel Yelen



I don’t wish to see the world’s largest
Anything. Show me a guidebook with a drawing
Of an open window—
This open window, for example.

Draw through it another open window to a different apartment,
And through it another open window to a different apartment,

So when I go back to where I’m from, I speak of layers.
Of openings. Not the size
Of some mountain or stamp collection.

Show me you in your backyard when you were six
Stretched out behind a tomato plant.

Beetle fairy masculinity
Ant volcano of women’s history
Delicious dirt cake to eat in solitude

Deliver me experiences to match these
Field notes I was hoping to take.

I thought you could take me on a tour of you,
But you say that takes a lifetime.
What is lifetime?

Making memories
Making sex
Twenty-five years of sleep

Where I’m from, they want me
back. I’ve let them know
I’ll be there in one lifetime.

Ariel Yelen is a poet and visual artist. Her poems have been published in or are forthcoming in BOAAT, The Felt, Queen Mob's Teahouse, and Two Serious Ladies. Her work has been recognized by grants and fellowships from Fine Arts Work Center, The Yiddish Book Center, Vermont Studio Center, and elsewhere. She's an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Rutgers Newark.
Mark Cugini