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Download PDF by Mary Jo Bang: Apology for want

By Mary Jo Bang

ISBN-10: 0874518229

ISBN-13: 9780874518221

Winner of the 1996 Bakeless Literary ebook Prize for Poetry

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Example text

No one wakes here.  I have known people who died violentlyin a car thrown from a mountain road in Colorado.  Once on a swing, I fell from standing, Page 48 my slick shoes facing out, hands slithering over coarse rope, sky becoming earth and blister. To have come so far. The room is finished, everything touched. I'm moving toward the door, curtain of music behind me.  My father continues to play although I am paradise leaving him. Page 49 No Talking No talking in the grass, only persistent scars where cheek lay to hear a sound: the distilled conversation of minute barbed legs, fiddle bow to fiddle.

Was this to whom I sent those love notes when I was nine? He hectors the doctor with the blue syringe, the assistant in white. His breath is a mix of narcissus and nightshade; tainted eyes catch the burnish of fluorescent bulbs. He's not at all like a father in sepia photographs: rakish mustache, pleated wool trousers.  The cat is no longer. Her body sheds its unused breath; a muscle twitches in objection.  Any moment the door will open; our lives will insist, then come in. Death licks the cat's face, smooths her fur, hands her back a hand warmed thing, improbable.

Lids closed. Always simple negation: the astonished Let be disappearing into knotgrass and bindweed, eddy and ash. Page 14 Gretel Mother, I am bare in a mist-mad forest. Only the moon shows me love.  I have a thousand visions: you ironing an enormous dress; eating chocolate and honey, sausage and a luscious peach; the sun drunk and easy; spring blowing raw sky and storm scream; someone running.  Take them, will you?  Silence itself is strategy, a signed language, gorgeous, fluid in the hands of those who learned it in childhood.

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Apology for want by Mary Jo Bang

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