5 Poems by Margarita Popova



When a big cosmic hand
Runs along the back of the Pacific
Little bits of ocean dust
Jump into the air 

Cling to the fuzz on your cashmere sweater
Cling to the hair in your nose 

The light today was donated to us anonymously
Body-cold. Heart unbeatable
Spine a chewed on branch 





Wearing all of my clothes           To stand in the surgical light of fear
Trying to seem larger than life                                      Larger than fear

Meant to plow the land                                         Saw the apples go bad
Leaning heavy to     rot                                     At the feet of the world
                                Old                                     Warm-toned




Poetry does not really take that much time only my whole life
Patience paper-cuts
Roots into a cell
Of a house or a coffin
or a book 

With situational vibrancy
My heavy bones must split into a house
Or a coffin or a book
That does not belong to my name 

In these walls
I eventually learn how to feel everything 




There is such a thing as post-coital clarity 

(I wanted to provide a scientific base for what I was about to say) 

When everything becomes so clear 

It is so clear to me now 

Like I am sitting on the tip of the nose 

(I touched the tip of your nose) 

Of God. I can see everything from here 

I can see that we are rain barrels really 

Walking around spilling ourselves everywhere 

And everything makes us forget 


… But I remember! 

What? (You woke up) 

“I remember”



Salt mines under my skin
I didn’t feel in charge of the world 

Definitely. When you touched my knee
It made a feeling like a balloon 

Pierced with a cloud
Left        In its place 

In this case

Red cloud of love. Pleasure.
You know the one. Where 

Did you see it?
Did I? Smelling of sweat. At night 

The shadows around our bed
Grew elaborate — different. A rhythm 

was on the loose. Unbounded
Heart taped to a whole bunch of dynamite



Margarita Popova is a former editor and writer from Moscow, Russia. She currently resides in the Bay Area and works in conversational robotics, focusing specifically on the relationship between human and artificial intelligence. Her editorial work has been featured in The Guardian, The Fader, and others. Her debut poetry manuscript, Saturday, has been selected as a finalist for the 2023 Ottoline Prize.