Translation by Katherine Bode-Lang


In Italian, la passera is sparrow,
a term of endearment
for the V tucked between my legs.
Il mio cielo—my sky, my lover.

My sparrow is a rainstorm,
is in a rainstorm, sheets of water and hail
airing on the wet street,
a question mark against the sky.
We count the seconds between lightning

and thunder. My lover calls
me Bird: a heron, a gull,
a sparrow—we have never
distinguished the species of bird,
nor the temperament of sky
when he calls my name.



Read The Reformation: a Conversation with Katherine Bode-Lang by Jessamyn Smyth



Katherine Bode-Lang was born and raised in western Michigan. She is the 2014 winner of The American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize; The Reformation will be published this fall. Her chapbook, Spring Melt (Seven Kitchens Press), placed second in the 2008 Keystone Chapbook Contest and earned the New England Poetry Club’s Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She has published in numerous journals, including The American Poetry Review, The Mid-American Review, Beloit, The Cincinnati Review, and Subtropics. Katherine earned her MFA in poetry at Penn State University, where she is now an IT Trainer in the Office of Research Protections. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband, Andrew.