A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Rebecca Farivar


Stop eating
in a panic.

No one will take
the food

off your lap.
Don’t worry

about the others
with arms.

They feel armless.
Let’s all go

to an orchard 
and touch

a peach. 
All of us.

We’ll feel better.

We’ll say, “This
is the best

of both worlds”
though really

there’s only one
and we know it.


I cut a hole
in my shirt

to see color
cut a hole

in the color
to see more

color. It never
occurred to me

that fish
have hearts

until I saw one
free and beating

in a human hand.

When I was in Vienna, my friends and I went to the weekly flea market at the Naschmarkt. We each decided that we'd try to find something at the flea market and I chose to look for the components of a traditional Viennese coffee set (silver tray, espresso cup, and tiny cream pourer). I found pourer right way, but the rest was more elusive. At the last table I looked at, I found the perfect silver tray, but ended up leaving the market without the cup. A week later when I was in Istanbul, I found a cup to complete the set, so now I have a complete, multicultural coffee set that reminds me of both places. 

Rebecca Farivar is the author of Correct Animal (Octopus Books, 2011) and chapbooks Am Rhein (Burnside Review, 2013) and American Lit (Dancing Girl Press, 2011). Individual poems have most recently appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Salt Hill, and Birdfeast. She lives in Oakland, CA.