Patrice Boyer Claeys


I hold you in my hands—
faux fur
homely as a house.

So strange
the paradox
of inside and outside.

Your belly grew round with dew
created a glossary of seeds
like rings of colored glass.

      Green Sunshine,
the god who loves you
confidently wielded the crayon.

If the meek deserve
a form of comfort,
you would know.

Cento Sources: W. D. Snodgrass, Suzanne Buffam, Marianne Moore, Dunya Mikhail, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Pattiann Rogers, Pablo Neruda, Catherine Bowman, Leonore Hildebrandt, Don Kubicki, Carl Dennis, Louise Gluck, Evan Kennedy, Denise Levertov, Marvin Bell

Black Raspberries

Night berries
sensation of joy
to my parched mouth,
the wetness of their onyx
slipping a bright hook
on my tongue.
        I had
to come so far to taste so good
a memory.

When I close my eyes for a second
I can taste her pie
lapis lazuli
its crust like crinoline

the rim where dreams crouch.

Cento Sources: Alan Gillis, Marianne Moore, R. T. Smith, Dana Ward, Safiya Sinclair, Kevin Young, Stephen Dunn, Isidor Schneider, John Herschel, Caren Krutsinger, William Butler Yeats, Jacqueline Woodson, Arden Levine, Lynda Hull

Patrice Boyer Claeys is the author of two poetry collections: The Machinery of Grace (2020) and Lovely Daughter of the Shattering (2019). Recent work appears in The Inflectionist Review, Zone 3, Glassworks Magazine and Aeolian Harp Anthology 5. She has been nominated for both  Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. Find her at

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