Tuesday 4 September 2018


by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

The sky in June
rises with horns,
my grandmother’s
about her neck in gold,
and sets with chelae, claws,
pincers, the many names

for mother.
A bull gives birth
to a crab, a crab to a ram,
a ram to the cusp
of scorpion and centaur—
the sky grows full
with parturition. 

How many names
for this? The looking up.
The summer stars
and all their distant
meaning. The many
names for mother.

How animal
to fit inside
and human
to tear our way
back out.  

* * * * *

"Genesis" was previously published in Midway Journal. It is part of Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach's manuscript, The Many Names for Mother, which was recently selected by Ellen Bass as the winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and will be published by Kent State University Press in the Fall of 2019.

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, where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry about the Holocaust. Julia is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014) and her recent poems appear in Best New Poets, American Poetry Review, and Nashville Review, among others. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine (www.constructionlitmag.com) and when not busy chasing her toddler around the playgrounds of Philadelphia, she writes a blog about motherhood (https://otherwomendonttellyou.wordpress.com/).

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