Jehanne Dubrow

Brussels, 1994

Near the careful lines of the Grand Place, the pink
and purple canopies, the marble child
forever pissing in his marble sink,

we ate the perfect Belgian meal of frites
with mayonnaise and moules cooked in white wine
and endive served with mustard vinaigrette.

My mother talked about cables dispatched
from Africa. Two groups, she said between bites,
the Hutus and Tutsis. At first we laughed,

the names like made-up words in schoolyard songs,
or sounds a baby makes, vowels liquefied
like chocolate truffles melting on the tongue.

Machetes, she explained, to hack hundreds
in half as quickly as a knife slices
a plate of greens. Or else the crooked blade

that short tribes use to cut the cockroaches
(the taller tribes) and bring them down to size.
Some worshippers were kneeling in a church.

First, doors were barred, torches lit outside,
then fire swallowed air. We closed our eyes.
Man's inhumanity to man, we sighed,

and ordered crme brle and coffee for dessert.

Old Town
In Warsaw: reconstructed
from rubble in the decade after WWII.

Real history could never look so good.
Instead, patinas have been painted on
to show false wear on walls that haven't stood
five centuries of dust and human touch,
just fifty years of tourist industry.
If prawda signifies the truth, not much
is true when every ancient coat of arms,
each red-tiled roof, each Art Nouveau salon
de th
was turned out in a factory,
trompe l'il to double-cross the eye or charm
vacationers. The locals know a con:
the new-made-old, 3-D enough to last.
But even they prefer a forgery
to walking through the ruins of the past.

The Diplomat's Daughter

She drinks the tea, her lips kissing the bone
edge of the china cup, a sip too fine
and smooth, rehearsed as choreography.
Her pinky angles just the right degree.
Who taught her to sit like a princess,
glass-still while conversations spin across
the room? Small drops that trickle from her mouth,
falling onto the linen tablecloth,
glint like citrines before they disappear.
She could almost be the girl in a Vermeer:
posed, a face of painted porcelain
that catches light, her glowing underskin.
Except, while no one looks, incisors snap
against her tongue, the closing of a trap.


Jehanne Dubrow was born in Italy and grew up in Yugoslavia, Zaire, Poland, Belgium, Austria, and the United States. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in creative writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Hudson Review, Measure, The New England Review, and Poetry Northwest.


Melissa Balmain
Lorna Knowles Blake
Catherine Chandler
Jehanne Dubrow
Anna Evans
Midge Goldberg
Dolores Hayden
Juleigh Howard-Hobson
Julie Kane
Luann Landon
Susan McLean
Julia Randall
Terri Witek

Therese Chabot creates delicate, ephemeral installations carpets, dresses and crowns using flower petals and natural materials to speak of the stages of life and the paths we are given to choose from.
32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers