Tanka as Ruth
Kaethe Schwehn (bio)

I am here among the corn.
Beer for an ear? I say
to passersby. Naomi’s
right eye shuts with fever.
The corn addicts her.
I am foreign and will
tell you this corn is off
putting as a shell without
sea sound. You go out
into the field and think
you’re deaf. Ear for
a beer, I say, get me
out of this fix. Naomi’s left
eye rolls up, green pus
lines the bottom. When she
smiles. Naomi’s knees.
We have no men. We get
nothing in this story. Let me
tell you. The pull of lashes
on Naomi’s right eye trying

to open to a God
who left us makes
me love no one but
Naomi, the birds
dip into this green
mess. It is no ocean.

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