Everything I Do, I Do in Winter

by Avia Tadmor

and nobody lives on a farm anymore,
though there’s the promise of yellow-star okra

and moonrise pink GloFish, thousands
of sub-aquatic vulvas flickering in the dark.

If nothing else, there is internal movement:
the same way ferns are made of little ferns,

big words are made of small words,
train tracks are made of pixels

and none of us go to work anymore,
but somewhere there’s someone in dress pants

getting paid for this.
Last night, the world asked what am I thinking,

stuffing the dead in my mouth,
and my favorite ex asked if I wanted children

and how can I say I am broken
if I brew kombucha and read poetry.

Outside the window, the great malls
are in bloom. I know that the problem

was never with dead people
but with those that go on living.

For a moment, this morning, in the white
shower light, I could see myself loving a cat.



Avia Tadmor is a student of poetry and literary translation at Columbia University’s Graduate Writing Program. She was a finalist for the Indiana Review 2016 Poetry Prize, and her work appeared or is forthcoming in AsymptoteColumbia JournalThe Grief Diaries, and Mantis. She currently teaches writing at Columbia and at Gilda’s Club of New York, a day center for people living with cancer and their caregivers.