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To Try to Contain Absence
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To Try to Contain Absence

dilation and curettage

Spill moonlight across the oaken floor-beams to reveal dust in corner,the aftermath of a cat'stoe pads, a child's bare feetrunning away from bedtime.

Next, go down, very deep,into the abandoned well.Brace your palms against the mildewingstone—no water there for years.Now cry out,cry out as loud as you can.

From August's blanched grass, gathera dragonfly's wings; and from the kitchengarden, the bone-like huskof okra pods left too longin full sun. Make a meal of them;savor the dust.

Open the empty drawer, the onethat once held love letters, ticketstubs from train trips you barely rememberhaving taken; the drawing of the catyour daughter made, the oneyou will never find. No matter:search for traces, breathe inthe déjà vu of pine. [End Page 490]

Now, cup your hands around this belly.Here, only yesterday,forced loose, only yesterday—anesthesia's aftermathvanished now, all is silent,not even the rustlingof the seedpod in dry wind.

Why then this swell of bellyso like the prow of a shipvoyaging toward nothing? [End Page 491]

Jacqueline Kolosov

Jacqueline Kolosov's poetry collections are Vago, Modigliani's Muse, and Memory of Blue is forthcoming. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in prose and teaches creative writing at Texas Tech.

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