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  • The Chain
  • Elyse Fenton (bio)

Maybe inside all our bodies is the fine body    of an ultramarathoner, a body that needs

to be lubricated against itself, that needs    to be doggedly watered and hand-fed

and salted periodically with tablets no    bigger than the sori of a fern, that just

needs the steel-banded calculus of trust    to take it and take it good, the body, yes,

your own soft body leads by a leash along    the rocks flanging the dark pines, the body

your body jerks to a stop in the rough    clearing, hands on shoulders on knees

on unblessed ground, the body your body    sledges with rusted stakes through the palms,

achilles, nipples, that drives a chain rippling    through the intestines with the blindness

of water approaching the dam, blindness    of boys at the edge of the woods cinching [End Page 94]

themselves into some dusty unnameable    shape—threat or surrender with its parallel

lines—toward a voice with a sledge    in its hands and a chain in its teeth calling

come and get it brother, come and get it. [End Page 95]

Elyse Fenton

Elyse Fenton is the author of the poetry collections Clamor and Sweet Insurgent (forthcoming from Saturnalia). Although she has spent much of her life as a scrum half, shortstop, or point guard, she has very few poems to show for it.



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pp. 94-95
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