Cover Art: Lena Gustafson
Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer
Paperback, 33 pages
May 15, 2018, ISBN 978-1-936919-59-8
about Gala Mukomolova
Gala Mukomolova earned an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Her work has appeared in PEN, Poetry, PANK, Vinyl, and elsewhere. In 2016, Mukomolova won the 92nd Street Y Discovery/ Boston Review Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, One Above One Below: Positions & Lamentations, was released in 2018 by YesYes Books and her first full-collection, Without Protection, was released by Coffee House Press in 2019.
One Above One Below: Positions & Lamentations by Gala Mukomolova
Winner, Vinyl 45 Chapbook Prize!
Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Chapbook Award, 2018
Yes, I rode out west
Yes, I rode out west with the girl I loved.
There will be those who say I did not love her,
I could not drive I was her passenger and
packed apples, so much water, read her books
aloud until the road got dark.
She lived a body in my body. A pack of studs,
my hand on her thigh, I traced each route
along our paper map we’re almost there almost.
Long past when I was wanted I wore her ring and
counted golden hay, the herd thinning, the clearing
where, in August, the sun bounced off unmoving flanks.
Edge of Pine Ridge, a dock with private cabins, I pressed
my tongue to her ass the way a young girl might
take a pressed flower from her diary and place it
in her mouth. I was the mouth her mouth found
in any darkness, I knew her, her sadness
wormed a hole inside my throat. Each powwow
we ate fry bread, not her grandmotherʼs
but close. I touched the white stone face
of Sitting Bull, monuments riddled with bullet holes.
Crow fair, my poetry traded with a man
for a painting on a patch of fur.
This a story I know, she said. This is the archer,
his horse, his four directions.
This was an animal once, I thought. This is the story of a
A young boy cupped his hands, a stirrup, we got on.
Each night my throat a pocket, grave for horses
I want to tell you how I loved her but
a field flooding.
No. A white horse. No I wanted to wash up mythic and
so heavy she couldn’t lift up even one leaden leg.
Much less claim me.