AUTHOR FEATURE - TIFFANY BABB


Tiffany Babb is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic. Her cultural criticism has been published in PanelxPanel Magazine, The AV Club, Paste Magazine, and The Comics Journal, and her poetry has been published in Third Wednesday Magazine, Rust + Moth, and Cardiff Review. Her first book of poetry A list of things I've lost (Dec 2021) is available from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press . You can follow her on twitter @explodingarrow and sign up for her monthly newsletter at tiffanybabb.com/puttingittogether.


https://www.tiffanybabb.com/puttingittogether


https://bookshop.org/books/a-list-of-things-i-ve-lost/9781952055331


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“I remember that it takes work to remember." Fragmented portraits and metropolitan pastorals arc along a pendulum of solitude, illustrating alternate desires of preservation and renewal. Babb creates connections through elemental communion with objects, nature, family, and fading keepsakes, transforming mundanity and trauma into oneness with the present.


https://bookshop.org/books/a-list-of-things-i-ve-lost/9781952055331


https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-list-of-things-ive-lost-tiffany-babb/1140618284?ean=9781952055331


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TWENTY-THREE

I can see my grandmother at my age

pull her hands from family and home,

to flee from country to country to

country again, so that I might see

the Notre Dame, hear chatter

from the flower market

opening nearby.

In my bag, a pass for the Metro,

details for my flight home,

and a set of house keys,

jangling.

__________


TRANQUILITY


At the dining table of a freezing kitchen

I sit alongside candles of pearled wax,

an empty napkin holder, last night’s wine glass.

Here, the sun exists only in weak beams

slipping through the curtain of clouds.

Leftover rain drips from tree leaves, and

hydrangeas dash blue and purple through green.

__________


RETURN

The house is empty;

only the kitchen light is on.

Taped to the staircase is a note

from my grandmother on a scrap

torn from a wall calendar.

Characters march in neat little rows,

scratched out in skipping ballpoint ink.

I recognize only my name and the symbol for night.

I pass them to a friend who tells me

the scrawl is too messy to decipher.

Then to my mother next, who translates

as only a child can, for their parent,

with patience and familiarity.

The church meeting will run late.

There is food in the fridge.

Do not wait up to let me in.

__________


RETURN

The house is empty;

only the kitchen light is on.

Taped to the staircase is a note

from my grandmother on a scrap

torn from a wall calendar.

Characters march in neat little rows,

scratched out in skipping ballpoint ink.

I recognize only my name and the symbol for night.

I pass them to a friend who tells me

the scrawl is too messy to decipher.

Then to my mother next, who translates

as only a child can, for their parent,

with patience and familiarity.

The church meeting will run late.

There is food in the fridge.

Do not wait up to let me in.




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