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Elizabeth Metzger

Elizabeth Metzger is the author of The Spirit Papers (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017). She is the poetry editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal and lives in Los Angeles, California.

By This Poet

2

Control Feast

Either you’ve died, or you arrive
beside me at a funeral

patchily reaching out
from your zero gravity chair

to grab the relative achievement
of my stomach.

There is no cute life in me
but I have eaten a great meal

alone successfully, greater
than I have ever kept down before,

full of iron and clotted cream.
I cannot feel everything about you

anymore the way I used to—
the stomach overfills itself so fast

it eats the hunger and the mouth.
I grow enamored of you as an egg

you shake in my direction
then love you evenly, without belief.

Won Exit

In one or two lives 
I opened the door with the prize
only to find the prize was not worth the life.
 
I wanted the door.
 
Brave mahogany door, you be my fortune.
Teach me to understand the jungle cry 
in your grain, the suffering circles 
 
by which your tree wisdom is known.
 
I was superior with handles,
gentle with thresholds. Then, this.
 
Choices at morning hours I usually skip
but there is a little cash flow of beauty
where there is almost no more water.
 
And there is not room and light enough
to stand behind the second 
and listen anymore—
 
I am going through the language of me now.
 
I am flipping open the dictionary of myself
with my tongue, as if that were possible,
to find your first word. 
 
In the torture of a foyer 
doorless for entering, I am entering none.