Two Poems by Elizabeth Seri

by: Elizabeth Seri

Elizabeth Seri’s poems live at the edge of meaning, where image and intention collide. Like trying to recall something impossible to forget, they reorient the reader to the world as it rushes towards us in all its strangeness, startling us as we realize again and again that it is the very world we helped create. Or as the poet puts it: “Even the king inside all of us…[looks] for proof that he is his own ancestor.”


the book of last thoughts

The ghost animals are not there if you have not been
one of them. draped blue sinew

I think of the lone horse baying at the tender end
of triumphant war. I think of your mother and

how quickly her satin hour crumbled to salt.
I smother myself in its ashes. this is the second time

I am teaching myself how to breathe.
Like the snowy fledgling yellow-eyeing me under

a russet lynx’s raw tongue I wrap myself
into a corporeal Byzantium, a bed

of shivering violets. Your favorite color brushed to
dim liquid dreams; my final thought is of waning.


language as old as the altar

An iceberg is born as we stand,

its clear contours straining to cradle
the natural bend of the human
body. Gentle mouth
bloodied with the language of beasts,

the sun, breathing because it is the only
burning thing

out of reach. We adorn museums
with memories and call them death, call this
inevitable, engrave the headstone
with what life looked like before it was dropped
into starving hands.

Even the king inside all of us removes
his jewelry before approaching the altar,
bowing to imitate leopard’s teeth

looking for proof that he is his own ancestor.


Elizabeth Seri currently attends high school in Southern California, writing poetry and playing tennis in her free time. She has previously had her works recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, as well as published in YCIS Little Star during her time lived overseas.

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