Stilled Summer by Margo Berdeshevsky


—Every childhood achieves something great and irreplaceable for humanity. —Walter Benjamin


— not martyr martyr martyr martyr martyr — killed-in-the-course-of-attack true-believer, not a man who loved the homeland, and God loves him, dear, a martyr : regaining presence in the only home left — not who erases the sun and who holds — who erases the sun and who holds its gun — when the spider is biting her thread? dear —

of children smeared with — walls smeared with — homage — smeared

— not — some call it land of milk, some, of honey, some of greed or where
across another wall, on walls, a bullet’s nest, a martyr’s
frame, a word some say means witness, written a hundred
times, on a hundred guns,

on children smeared with — walls smeared with — homage — hands —
fat with fat round apples for teachers fat with shells, for the peace of — no peace, ever

or what’s
— he carried out a martyrdom operation?
or what’s
the word mine? and what’s yours?
where the spider swallows her thread?

What difference between words and frames and walls?
What’s resistant, or martyr, or murder, or God, or
orphan among thorns? Shade in a desert of lame trees

wet as mourning, dry as guns —
where the spider bites — where the summers can
wash under sun’s bewildered murders?

It’s a museum I tell myself — it’s world — once gardens of once
kings, once children.

Gun or grave or war or holy, which of you haunts
harder — home for the weeds?
or the rock’s blue blossom?

Which guns not broken to scythes, which war not to
end lies, not still, and no holy land, no, not another — spider —
spitting her thread.

Stilled, in fat-grained sands.
Summer’s overgrown good talon.
Heaven-hung effigy, un-
knitted from its bone, bone no
longer sleeved in flesh,
flesh no longer runner
in a tall wheat quiet, in its
night-net web, tinted blue
by a felled moon. The spider
biting her thread.

Margo Berdeshevsky’s most recent poetry collection is Between Soul and Stone, (Sheep Meadow Press.) Her But a Passage in Wilderness was also published by Sheep Meadow Press. Beautiful Soon Enough, (University of Alabama Press), her book of sexy stories illustrated with her own photographs, received FC2’s Innovative Fiction Award; other honors include the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America. Works have appeared in journals including Kenyon Review, Agni, Pleiades, New Letters, Poetry International, The Collagist, Gulf Coast, and Prairie Schooner. Forthcoming, a new poetry book, Square Black Key, and a multi-genre novel, Vagrant. Born in NYC, Berdeshevsky is currently writing in Paris. Please do see her Letters from Paris: And for more information, please see