Word For/ Word: A Journal of new writing

Elizabeth Sanger


Everywhere you seek it, potent distraction
or portent. Birds in congress
on a bare winter tree, how they hold themselves
so still (& the worm turns, dreaming

a wormy dream of fresh earth)--they hold
so very-very, til the power of looking
unveils itself.

One: a killing tongue.
Two: a rope
run through all feeling creatures & holding [might I borrow
one to the other, but not close enough
for the man you love to stay
& dance past midnight.

How could you have predicted. In yr old age, you'll grow ugly
on a meat-only diet & make yr fun
conducting War-Game against yr grandchildren
and whine nightly into a broken telephone, unrepentant
and unpopular
as an adult contemporary love song.

So my friend Blond lopes up-road to duel-at-dawn
her friend Black Dog, dittying
love you long, Manhattan,
love you strong--but back then you were Edith.
And Edith's time, we must admit,
is now long-gone.

The day wanes. Even You
won't remember night coming. And yet, Edith,
here it comes.