The Meeting House: Lyme, Connecticut, 1666 (audio only)
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Recorded at the Chancellors Reading, Poets Forum 2015. NYU Skirball Center. New York City.
(Mather AFB, California, 1956) When we play horses at recess, my name is Moonlily and I’m a yearling mare. We gallop circles around the playground, whinnying, neighing, and shaking our manes. We scrape the ground with scuffed saddle oxfords, thunder around the little kids on swings and seesaws, and around the boys’ ball games. We’re sorrel, chestnut, buckskin, pinto, gray, a herd in pastel dresses and white socks. We’re self-named, untamed, untouched, unridden. Our plains know no fences.
This $1,600 slice of foam,
if it stays firm, will be the last mattress
I’ll ever buy. It’s comfortable enough
for years of sleeps, for the long, thwarted hours
of scribbling sentences, or to step from
into the surrey with the fringe on top.
Given the choice between flat-lining here,
Three-quarter size. Full size would break the heart.
She, still bare-breasted from the auction block,
sits staring, perhaps realizing what
will happen to them next. There is no child,
though there must be a child who will be left
behind, or who was auctioned separately.
Her arms are limp, defeated, her thin hands