Tag: Anca Segall

Desert Seas

by: Anca Segall

Lars’ baby blue VW bug, rusty and dented, came to a stop in the rutted parking lot at the trailhead into Dark Canyon. Covered in nearly as much dust as the car, we both tumbled out into the scrub desert, already parched in May. Fable Valley had enough flash floods to make leaving our names at the BLM box prudent, though it was still early in the season. Eager to stretch our legs, we shouldered our backpacks and started down the steep trail into the valley.

We had driven down from Logan and stopped in Provo for a Saturday fair in the city park, where Lars did a brisk business drawing portraits of fair-going kids. He’d kept them captivated with stories on a rickety stool as he rendered their character in strokes of charcoal and Conte crayon. At midday, while families lunched and the kids trickled in more slowly, Lars had me pose for him, to pass the time and entice paying customers.

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Late-Life Love (A Villanelle)

By Anca Segall

My losing heart’s a strange and wicked master.
So many men seemed filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss was surely no disaster.

Lost one or two, and finally, most. The fluster
of lost men, lost lovers, hours in sadness spent.
The losing heart was still a bitch to master.

I practiced losing every love, and lost it faster.
Each year, and every day, I dwelt on what I meant
to tell each one: that their loss was no disaster.

I lost the first one to another girl, in my youth,
then several in quick succession, until I mastered
the art of losing men with greater couth.

Yet despite couth, my losing heart was too poor a master
of loneliness that came of losing lovers sans intent.
Although my heart regrets their loss, still… no disaster.

And so, my dear, imagine the surprise I now hold
as, late in life, I learned love of a different sort.
My losing heart I have yet learned to master
and losing you, my love, would surely bring disaster.

Inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art”

 

Born and raised in Romania, Anca Segall obtained her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Utah, where she also studied fiction writing. A microbiologist on the faculty at San Diego State University, Anca began writing poems in times of personal turmoil, then realized that microbiology and poetry share the close and precise observation of life—each offers unique ways to understand beauty. She has also collaborated with graphic artist Arzu Ozkal on creating microbial art.

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