First night together, and he said “Don’t –
don’t ever, don’t you ever write about
me.” First thing from his mouth, and it took
her breath: he saw how she was capable,
saw what words – her words – might do.
Scraped his nails down the pale silk skin
of her fore-arm. “Don’t write about this,” he said
and bent her little finger back. She felt
like she’d swallowed gold: all that sick wealth
inside her that she’d never get to spend.
first published (as part of a longer sequence of the same name) in
The American Poetry Review Philly Edition Supplement,
Fall 1999; and is also available in the book Crawlers, co-winner
of the 2005 McGovern Prize from Ashland Poetry Press, published by
them in December 2006.
A Visit to the Excavation
You see how it is:
We piece it together.
From shards, amphorae.
From splinters, a skull.
The tipped bowl flung crazed from the kitchen,
The bone broken putrid under the straw.
We find what was cracked and left for dead.
We finger the chink the knife made.
Lost, missing, forgotten,
Trash heaped over trash:
That’s what we look for.
What was never said, we hear.