Today's poem is by Esther Lee

from Crossed, Cross, Crossing

Wasn't there something about a sandbag
doing no good       a burlap sack cinched at no waist
by water,

didn't we believe
the woman pulling her children would arrive

I swore the wood pigeons mingling here
last year would again

Yes we did say this much

Which one of us sat here      Which preferred
the train's soft metalling

The will of a maggot is so easily
mistaken for rice       How I behave as if I know you,
offer you a little bark then a little more

You talk of bodies tailless and at fault      It matters
to no one
                        Systematic slow,
you are hungry always hungry

Skies change
according to the blood in my cheeks      Searchlights pulse
their usual pulse

I'll meet you in the dark, I say, where history says
it won't matter Will you trade anything, you ask

We discover new sentences       They order themselves
Their pink feet turn away from you & not
the other way around

I mean which one of us sat beneath the razored water
slinking beneath ice,

what I'm asking is where
each tooth in the pile belongs and how come you can't
return to me stunned and leaving

Copyright © 2005 Esther Lee All rights reserved
from New Orleans Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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