catalog of failed women whom I’ve loved or been or prayed for


who is a robust succession of nesting dolls, identically sized, each an anagram of the others’ names.

who seeds the small white arils of lexapro into her writing hand, where they may spring forth and marrow.

who revels in being meat, in being an unwrapped package of laffy taffy or whatever’s the newest, most abiding metaphor. who has pawned her body for a television only to find you cannot watch television without a body.

she who loves too-small hats on too-large heads.

who is violently weaving in the portico. violently weaving in the far fringes of her own party. who invites you over, leaves out a quartet of fine french hummuses, then retires to bed so to violently weave.

for whom a bowl is a bowl is a bowl.

she who befriended her gynecologist against her gynecologist’s will.

she who ministered the hawk to the hornbill, against the hornbill’s will.

who is crowns of forsythia wearing a Land’s End overcoat. who is gleefully smashing the wedding silver while waving across the lawn to you. yes you.

whose god gives her nothing more than she can handle and who is handling all of it and that is why she has no time for book clubs.

who is not a genus of flowering plant in the olive family. who has never even met the olive family. are they dutch? do you know them?

who stumbles and says canadia before the handsome canadian.

who is more teeth than mouth, more mouth than teeth, but never both at one time.

who is every body in the tense confrontation.

who would sooner eat the small dead hare than bury it.

(winner of the Editors’ Prize in Poetry for issue 34)