E Flat Minor

Idra Novey

After the newest continuous disaster, 

I vex gently against the window glass.

I vex once more against the impassive

elevator door.

                                  To hope harder,

I buy overpriced hydroponic tomatoes.

I apologize longer to the wild

lobsters in the market.

                                                       While frozen waffles

soften in my cart, the lobsters stare me down

through the gathering clouds

                                                                     in their tank.

I am a criminal, Elizabeth Streb says, of her

choreography based on calculated risk, we

are a blunt instrument charging forward.


than any one crime or this useless vexing

is the desert outside the market where

I saw no desert before.

Idra Novey is the author of the novel Those Who Knew, an Indie Next Pick and New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her first novel Ways to Disappear received the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Prize, and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. A collection of her co-translations with Ahmad Nadalizadeh of Iranian poet Garous Abdolmalekian is forthcoming with Penguin Press in 2020.