Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Poem: "Fever Fragments"

"Fever Fragments" is written in response to Idra Novey's "As in Cincinnati," which in turn responds to Kimiko Hahn's "these toys." This extending wire of communication, branching out into others, will be published online next summer as Telephone Project, edited by Jonathan Farmer, poetry editor of At Length.

Fever Fragments

Can you forget what happened before?
—Sappho, “Six Fragments for Atthis”

The picture is still so clear to me
I cannot imagine you cannot see.
The fire’s marks are red, and burn;
I turn and turn for your return.

Then I see what I did not see:
you see a different part in me
that when the cold and dark return
the fire in you will burn and burn.


All smoke now, the white stars, the stupid wax
that crouched too fast under the hooded heat.
No stub of toe, no crust of tears, no sex
but dissipating wisp, finished, incomplete.


I would make accusation a form of love
except it has been done before.


Sundays we watched the Giants fumble
another play, but somehow stumble
to a big touchdown.

Your hands were sure, ran down my zipper
and caught so well I took you for a keeper,
took you in my mouth.


I suspect the lonely ones who compose long poems
of hearts unbroken.
My suspicion is ungenerous, I confess,
fever of the forsaken.


Sappho, teach me to lay a curse on him that sits:
when boys eat his ass, give them a mouthful of shit.


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