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I’m in the midst of writing a lyric sequence…

November 2, 2007

and I wanted to post rough drafts of what (I think) will be the first two poems of the sequence…

“The First Miscarriage”

Where were you, when it happened?
I imagine it as it could not have been:
clean, cool, white tiled floor in “the apartment.”
A chest-high mirror, dim light.
Daddy was at school– third period,
a pickle-jar’s dented gold top, lidding formaldehyde
and squid.
black-haired, thin daddy.

Your body erupting in a smear:
a thing no longer than the distance
from knuckle to joint, on your first finger
breaking off, pouring out, jellied ear-knobs,
eye-spots, doughy hands, a curled tail.

not unlike Daddy’s squid-jar. Swimming,
grief pasted to your brow in streaks of blonde,
twisting mouth, rolling eyes.
Will we? Can I?

I don’t know
who came to get you. (Does it matter?)
I can’t see the glassy hospital’s landscaped islands:
a parking lot without mirages, too late for daffodils,
dogwoods, streaked and open-faced pansies.

Too soon for black-naveled sunflowers,
too soon for me, your June baby.

____________________________________________________________

“Asthma”

the metal canister and mouthpiece–
one green, one yellow, crooked like the periscope
of a submarine:
one to keep you from having an attack.
one to make it stop.
you always pushed your breath out,
wheezed it in, held, and shook
the air from your lungs, the hair from your neck.

epinephrine, albuterol, caffeine,
prednisone,
hydrocortisone:

the purse to carry your glass inhaler through college.
tiny sod-squares of rash on a five year-old’s back.

Don’t lay in the grass, baby.
You’ll get sick.

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