Stress Positions by Risa Denenberg


In yoga, when limbs tremble and bend,
I rest in child’s pose and dwell on stress
positions pressed on prisoners. My slight
discomfort weighed against their agony.

In tree pose, I’m a tent post in a muddy
bivouac. I confine my limbs in eagle pose,
as limbless orphans concoct makeshift sports.
In crow pose, I think of stateless refugees

who occupy camps where small caged birds
are the preferred pets. Lying in corpse pose
I wonder how many graves are lost at sea.
My sadness useless as a prayer.


First published in slight faith, MoonPath Press.



Risa Denenberg lives on the Olympic peninsula in Washington state where she works as a nurse practitioner. She is a co-founder and editor at Headmistress Press, publisher of LBT poetry. She has published three chapbooks and three full length collections of poetry, including “Whirlwind @ Lesbos” (Headmistress Press, 2016) and “slight faith” (MoonPath Press, 2018).


Photograph by Judith.

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