“repeat means repeat means,” a poem by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach


repeat means repeat means

stop writing the same poem
about guns and cities and dead
children who aren’t yours

when there’s been so much rain
the sewers are spitting back
water writing the same poem

you wander unpaved streets
looking for your son’s lost galosh
as children who aren’t yours

pretend to hold guns in his classroom
aim crayons and legos and hands
threaten you stop writing the same poem

or they’ll shoot there are no guns
in school
his teachers repeat

but children who aren’t yours

have them and repeat and repeat means repeat
comes from re-again and petere-attack
writing the same poem
children who aren’t yours
stop writing the same
stop writing

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, as a Jewish refugee when she was six years old. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focuses on contemporary American poetry about the Holocaust. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and TENT Conferences as well as the Auschwitz Jewish Center. Julia is the author of The Bear Who Ate the Stars (Split Lip Press, 2014) and her recent poems appear in Best New PoetsAmerican Poetry Review,and Nashville Review, among others. Julia is also Editor-in-Chief of Construction Magazine, constructionlitmag.com, and when not busy chasing her toddler around the playgrounds of Philadelphia, she writes a blog about motherhood, otherwomendonttellyou.wordpress.com

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