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To Try to Contain Absence
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dilation and curettage

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

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

From August's blanched grass, gather
a dragonfly's wings; and from the kitchen
garden, the bone-like husk
of okra pods left too long
in full sun. Make a meal of them;
savor the dust.

Open the empty drawer, the one
that once held love letters, ticket
stubs from train trips you barely remember
having taken; the drawing of the cat
your daughter made, the one
you will never find. No matter:
search for traces, breathe in
the déjà vu of pine.

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

Why then this swell of belly
so like the prow of a ship
voyaging toward nothing?

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.

Copyright © 2013 Louisiana State University Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Jacqueline Kolosov. "To Try to Contain Absence." Southern Review 49.3 (2013): 490-491. Project MUSE. Web. 18 Jul. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Kolosov, J.(2013). To Try to Contain Absence. Southern Review 49(3), 490-491. Louisiana State University Press. Retrieved July 18, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Jacqueline Kolosov. "To Try to Contain Absence." Southern Review 49, no. 3 (2013): 490-491. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 18, 2013).
T1 - To Try to Contain Absence
A1 - Jacqueline Kolosov
JF - Southern Review
VL - 49
IS - 3
SP - 490
EP - 491
PY - 2013
PB - Louisiana State University Press
SN - 2168-5541
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_review/v049/49.3.kolosov.html
N1 - Volume 49, Number 3, Summer 2013
ER -


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