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ISSN 2330-2690
Emerald
By Richard Marx Weinraub

Your irides are green; I know you well.
I see all that’s included in your eyes:
the feathers of you—fissures, rents, and splits—
the fractures that you suffered as a child—
the titan oxidized beneath your skin—
crude lipids of another lodged within.

So you have flaws—clear is the water’s realm;
my sister Aqua’s perfect—but not rare.
Your imperfections are a garden 
green—your fallen nature—just the hue of life.
So what if you are bitter—bile is sweet
when it breaks down the animals you eat.

I’m just like you—digesting minerals—
beryllium, aluminum, and chrome—
originating in a fault of earth;
I grew my veins on walls of cavities.
And so I have resource to read your mind
for I am also neither cruel nor kind.

I hear the sea, the heavens, and the dead
within a tone described as smáragdos
by natives of the Islands of the Blessed
where emerald builds the Temples of the Gods.
I see a human being that’s depressed,
but in your temples I’m at your behest.


Richard Marx Weinraub taught at the University of Puerto Rico for twenty-three years. He has published two collections of poetry: Wonder Bread Hill and Heavenly Bodies; a third entitled Lapidary will be published in 2013. His work has appeared in many journals including The Paris ReviewAsheville Poetry ReviewSouth Carolina ReviewThe Hampden-Sydney Poetry ReviewGreen Mountains ReviewNorth American ReviewSlate, and River Styx.
Photo by Tantra Zawadi