Today's poems are by Bridget Cross


If you grew yourself a house
I would visit rarely, if ever.
While you were busy building
things that have no business getting built,

Iíd be throwing out your old name.
What use is it buried in your hair?
What use the sweet measure,
circle over square onto cocktail napkin.

Come-back-run-back-kite-back. See?
Still saying it while you sit well
at your perch. What swell. Me,
a million people are saying my name

in the sub rosa supper club.
Me, giving out only the easy answers.
Hadnít I so much to say about talking
and difficulty and remembering

loving something? Ice, Iím afraid,
can not, will not fight for godhead.
I got told this. Ice swells
to prove and break a camera.

You may not hide behind the winter parade.
There is either light in the west where
it will always be morning
or a dark east in the whole of its own light.

Break your name. What use
when I no longer condemn you,
no longer disparage your electric show,
moat, or turbine. Why I come to you

for the useful things, olive stem in mind.
Come to kick you when youíre down.
For the tea-kettle fight. For the barroom sigh.
For behind your tracing paper, you are tracing.

Dear house, forgive us! Thereís a hint
in the medicineóyou are true table,
corners fled to California. You do make
the worst beautiful loser. Forget your names

for foghorn. I will call you none
of them. For Mississippi.
For sour mash. For great impossible
hope of July. What use is the sound

of taken back. Sound of lakes.
Letters made for bending slack
from sugarcane. Put back
your convex god. Shelve him.

Visit rarely, if ever. Burn all the names
you bring and leave. Burn them
in either light. In either house.
Like the burning things have burned.


dear sourpuss, let me stay lonely
in mommy mode. You already have
everything I want, bantam crosser
of legs and rooms, dangerous
with floatability. Or,

pretty tinder, your solitude speaks
a map of where drill meets boat, where
all the dead-mother afflicted will wash
up facedown. Or,

brave astonisher, there is no
countertop on which I will do
you, I am simply not that type
of tiger, your mother plain-old buried,
not repose in my hands. Or,

dear Bridget, it appears
youíve a life vestís penchant
for the sinking married man,
no water for your victory, no
victory for the lick of it,
their shoulders sweet tasting and nothing
but a slip in your midwinter fit. Or,

face it. His wife exists. Her kneecap.
Her starboard tow and heave. Oh
castaway, who could choose?
Who could want?

Copyright © 2006 Bridget Cross All rights reserved
from The National Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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