In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:


Undashed, first-loving. In my    book-eyessmall iris-flushings and    the clot of meat Ifinger from my hair.    Just as firesat sea do, just as the thick    and pleatedcurtain sweeps the nation    by the canyon,I am come to    straddle the monument,to write the mouse’s letter    with a cannon,in the form of a god, take a swan    who asked for meand form a swan too in    beaky whiteness.A gummy hand to hold    the glass and driedhair for a lighter. Most    primitively tightened,I stretched a china duck    for you. I pliedthe salve. Open    with a fingernailthe valve. Take    a cat’s tongue to the veil. [End Page 116]

Good Company

Pot    of peels and silver:you are for the robin,    whose estatesare close to mine, most    made of splinters,built of a right bone stood surely.    Rakethe scales the dragon    molted, cups of tinand green bottles shifting.    Through me darkly,the same nest for our same    living, nuts and pinsand amber where the heat    is free. Mark meon the mustard island,    underneath the loopsour neighbor makes, canopy    of tails and fire,light me. I am the girl cigar, carved    in chutesand ladders, best-buttoned, and half    a choir,rolling to the robin birthday    on a brown wingI borrowed: lend    the shoulder. Come to cling. [End Page 117]


A simple hand is coldenough for pastry.    Although a cat is hatched she playsthe mammal. Inside a pie, canaries humthe lazy     hymn: a seed, a pudding, anda candle.     Arrive in feathers, hard conclusion! press    on me. I am a cat and wheeled in bagels,am sexed with cat’seye marbles, less     than thumbs but morethan in the saddle.     Just the birds in a hard belly, just the frosting    of a ruddy cat who rides on vinyl, just     the butter crust, justthe smacked uncrossing     when I rise. Take me to sing and rust    my private metal. All is hutches sprungat dinner,     each a cat’s eye rolling inward. [End Page 118]

Mary Elder

Mary Elder received an mfa in poetry at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, where she teaches composition.



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