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.
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 Coast, Muzzle, and Sixth Finch, among others. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine and writes a blog about motherhood.