Nicole Rollender

   Recurring Dreams as Lazarus

outside someone shakes the trees for fruit  the falling isn’t beautiful

No, I covet what’s inside each fruit  dark seeds  a whole second life

a strange short  season I scrub the tomb’s floor

a shine so, so Our Lady of the Sea’s blues shimmer, reflecting

I contemplate what composes me  shrouded sickbones as flute’s fire

a seabirds’ chant  stench of a pandemic city  but, morning’s wet wildflowers

but, bread, honey  obedience in ash  and milk, lavender  body of the sun

you can’t die twice  we bury our dead  we come back with oranges

we leave our dead  we leave our dead to keep living   to crown our sons

but, here where  goats wander  I still have sisters  I remember it all

sometimes, you’re born to be one of God’s miracles  a sadness come to change the world

O holy God, I feel your breath  you float over me  your unmistakable ghost

A 2017 NJ Council on the Arts poetry fellow, Nicole Rollender is the author of the poetry collection, Louder Than Everything You Love (Five Oaks Press), and four poetry chapbooks. She has won poetry prizes from Palette Poetry, Gigantic Sequins, CALYX Journal, and Ruminate Magazine. Her work appears in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, The Journal, and Ninth Letter, among many other journals. Nicole is managing editor of THRUSH Poetry Journal, and holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania State University. She’s also co-founder and CEO of Strand Writing Services. Visit her online:

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