Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

Sure as Superstition

If you pee in a man’s soup, grandmother says, 
he’s sure to fall in love with you and never leave.

I’m never startled 
when sunflower heads burst 

into what isn’t flame, when their seeds 
bring luck and yellow petals

parting, when flower heads 
given in odd numbers die 

too soon to wear the grave, a reminder 
of the body, how it loves or withers 

under the pressure of dry roots. 
Best use steaming borscht, she says, so he eats it up

red and rich and burning. And I imagine 
my father at her kitchen table, 

a xanthous bouquet of gladioluses 
—white ones would be 

my mother’s wedding flowers— 
a bowl of borscht before him, 

an omen, so surely red and hot 
and comfortable, he couldn’t leave 

a single drop.


JKD head shot color, photo cred Ekaterina Izmestieva.jpg

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and TENT Conferences as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Julia is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014) and her recent poems can be found in Gulf CoastMuzzle, and Sixth Finch, among others. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine and writes a blog about motherhood.