Milk Tooth, Levee, Fever | Saara Myrene Raappana

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Saara Myrene Raappana’s poems have appeared in such publications as 32 Poems, Blackbird, [PANK], Subtropics, The Gettysburg Review, and Verse Daily. Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in southern China and currently lives in windy southwestern Minnesota with her husband. She likes animals, kropsua, ice fishing, and puns. Visit for more information.





Manifesto of What Breaks


If window, if scaphoid, if beak

of the rock-struck warbler, then stickball,

then sidewalk, then sling and stone that flies.

They demand splint and plaster, nail

and brace and glue. They beg grass to bend

for a meadow of runners, but all

pliable wishes die inside the bone.


What I’ve forgotten of compromise

I know of sacrifice: The spent

myocardium. The faith that makes

men tear temples down. There’s a boy:

his voice. A woman: the tide that

sweeps her baby in. Frogs into

song. Thunderstorm and then elm. Me:

bridge. Me: milk tooth. Me: awl of dawn

that perforates horizon’s belt.


To get a hundred million parts,

you must ransom one whole.

Just pray fingernail, levee, fever.

I promise to wait for you where

the high-tensile fence divides intact

from fracture, but I’m also cross-knuckled

fingers that say undo, undo.