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POETRY / When I was Chana / Hannah Cohen / Writer of the Month

I ate locusts raw and clean, 
but the years grew in me
a famine, 

mine sold in wrapped silver 
for those who eat the body
and blood of a man 

I never knew.
A man my mother claims to love 
but never seen, 

never met him.
I could have been Chana, 
you know. Hate me, 

but the diaspora
is kinder than the locusts
or my ancestors,

now beneath me
or in strange beds, 
the one my father lies

down with his lies over 
and again.
I was Chana once,

on the verge of choking
and devotion for the locusts 
in my mouth.


Hannah Cohen lives in Virginia. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Bad Anatomy (Glass Poetry Press, 2018). She’s the co-editor of Cotton Xenomorph. Recent and forthcoming publications include Cosmonauts Avenue, Entropy, Gravel, Longleaf Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, SWWIM, and elsewhere.