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Prairie Schooner 79.4 (2005) 125-126



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My Words, and: Positive, Except When Negative

My Words

I never liked pachyderm, especially when I learned elephants are anything
but thick-skinned. Ditto to the dowdily galumphing dromedary
with its root in dromad, Greek for swift.

Ones I never considered memorable or strange –
bubble, banana, anemone – bloomed
when my son began to use them

to describe falling snow, a crescent moon,
a cockatiel's plume. Plum is a terrible
word for a perfect fruit, summer

beautiful as the cold and empty beach we stroll nine months
of the year. I like gingivitis and gaggle. Gizzard, too –
it must be all that ga ga goo – must be,

if not primal, crib-al, must harken back to days
pre-list, pre-who-is-this-this-
in-the-mirror? Pre-must-do.

I wanted gourds and ghouls; I wanted gargantuan galas,
gherkins galore, but really what I wanted
was that somersaultingly salty

source, to return to a time when my skin
was transparent, when water
was my word. [End Page 125]

Positive, Except When Negative

Her name tells of how it was with her.

Truth is, sometimes she saw
the garbage cans half full,

the refrigerator half empty. Truth is,
accumulations could only mean

downed wires, cases of bottled water
a flood, the giant scribbly Kandinsky

a bonk on the head, at the least, when it fell.
When they looked at her blood, all they found

was B. B positive. Each year she looked forward
to her brain catching up with her heart.

Martha Silano's work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, Green Mountains Review, Paris Review, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Her book is titled What the Truth Tastes Like (Nightshade P).


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Additional Information

ISSN
1542-426X
Print ISSN
0032-6682
Pages
pp. 125-126
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-18
Open Access
No
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