Lang 70

Susanna Lang

Studio Visit: Later

Alice Berry

What’s left—bobbins, scraps
of fabric, reds and pumpkins
in one bin, blues in another.
A jacket, dark as its corner.

I remember tea in a fairy tale
harem splashed with glistening
silks that spilled from hangers
and shelves, from full-bodied

manikins. The light
now wintry, filtered through
high-set windows,
power switched off,

worktable bare. Ready.
For a year she did not enter
this studio, not sure what the room
was still good for. But out of a duffel

she pulls her new shawls, the fractured
lines like the quilts once sewn
by Dahomey women, whose squares
never lined up—they knew

that evil must walk a straight path,
can be foiled by angles and corners.

Susanna Lang’s third collection of poems, Travel Notes from the River Styx, was released in 2017 from Terrapin Books. Her previous collection was Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013). A two-time Hambidge fellow, her poems have appeared in such publications as Little Star, Prairie Schooner, december, American Life in Poetry and Verse Daily. Her translations of poetry by Yves Bonnefoy include Words in Stone and The Origin of Language. She lives and teaches in Chicago. More information available at