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Millicent Borges Accardi

MillicentMillicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of four poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon Poetry). Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, The Corporation of Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation. She’s led poetry workshops at Keystone College, Nimrod Writers Conference, The Muse in Norfolk, Virginia, and University of Texas, Austin. Her non-fiction can be found in The Writers Chronicle, Poets Quarterly, and the Portuguese American Journal. Recent readings at Brown University, Rutgers, UMass Dartmouth, Rhode Island College and the Carr Reading Series at the University of Illinois. @TopangaHippie

Eyes that Stared Straight Ahead

The thief, like a vowel, rare
and necessary, a mere microbe
on the face of a life lived
not well but carefully, a life urged
into safety by cause, a childhood
built on fear. If I only grow
small under the coffee table.
If I be nice and if I don’t cause
a problem. If I am still and stare
straight ahead, as if into starlight,
dense and unyielding, dark into
a night sky seen circuitously
as if from a narrow window with
an obscured view.

In Some Dead-end Place

We drive to the flat shore
with its sand shallow and rummy
cliffs. Our car too dented and old
to imagine a former life.

We argue and feast on our
mutual upset, crashing into other
places or wanting to wake up
with a plate of soy flashed eggs
in a bonnet. Like when
we were young and hungry.

Our words, forever. tangled yarn,
tangled and rolled, impossibly
together, yet warmed by our cold

that cannot hold or sort each
other out. Our skin is too soft
to grip an object, even, it is almost
as if we were wearing gloves,

a subtle touch of clarity like a barrier
to an old hurt, stopping us
from the huddled-together world.
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