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i’m rusty, but here’s a draft.

August 12, 2008

(I’m the kind of writer that needs structure (read: form) in order to be my most prolific. I have about a dozen poem-buds floating in my head now, and haven’t built any of them up onto paper yet. This one came at me at about 3am out of the blue, and I wasn’t about to turn it down, or tell it it wasn’t good enough.)


Jars on jars of formaldehyde; boxes cradling
the sedimentary, the igneous, the metamorphic.
A hundred tiny ghosts with fibers split like hairs,
hanging, tentacles shaved from the orb-eyed
by too many years in the jars. Disintegrating
in the clouded soup, an imperfect preservation.

There’s a girl, sixteen, dyed blonde boy-haircut,
who slides her prints into the developer
to float or stick to mine. She says cornstarch
will mummify a bird. She has dozens,
and her parents don’t mind.

Daddy, I was the cooling of magma
into the girl you called ‘a sponge.’
And with the movements, layers built,
and with the grief, they settled into one another,
like the stripes of a dim coral snake. Splitting me open
would look like sawing a tree trunk;
there have been years of plenty
and more of drought. My waxing,
waning, seething self is landed amid new soil now.

Leached, I change form– meta-morph
in this place where minerals lose their grip
on one another, and I can make of myself
a slate, a schist, a gneiss, a marble.

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