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Two New Poems

Do You Want To Dip The Rat

 

Do you want to dip the rat

Completely in oil

 

Do you want to dip the rat

Before we eat it eat it

 

Do you want to dip the rat

Completely in oil

 

Before we eat it

 

Tender tender meat

Like pork shoulder

 

A hundred traps set

Eighty hanging in a row to be broiled

 

With you

I’d take it raw

 

Tiny pink feet

Glistening with oil

 

Legs and feet

Glistening with oil

 

Matted fur and face

Weighted down with oil

 

Everything in oil

But the teeth are shiny clean

 

No what I really want to know

Before you open that mouth again

 

Should we completely dip the rat in oil

Before we eat it eat it

 

Should we completely

Dip the rat in oil

 

Before we eat it

 

 

 

The Nurse Said

 

The nurse said

To swallow

The brown pills first

 

 

Then the blue

Then she said to take the blue

And throw them on the floor

 

 

And stamp stamp

Stamp hard

She said

 

 

Outside the thunder is very rough

What is the sun if not an ending

You and the other people

 

 

When you split from the man in the poem

Baby

Nothing sadder than that

 

 

Nothing sadder than that

Had ever happened to me

I cried and cried

 

 

But it was silent

Like spring tears

Like some sort of spring green

 

 

Civil law

Is tender

It’s tender like the skin

 

 

Like the skin

Come too soon

Like the pink skin with blood

 

 

But my blood grew

But my blood

Grew in you

 

 

You were so green

Now you are so blue

The nurse said

 

 

Eat the yellow ones

I eat the sun

And my face is not afraid

 

 

Do you hear me

I am not afraid

I’ve fought this long

 

 

You will not

Break

Me

 

 

You sweet, sweet one

Sweet and tender

Like pork shoulder

 

 

Sweet

Sweet and gone

Lips pursed in a ribbon

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: ROME (Liveright/W. W. Norton), as well as Thunderbird, Black Life, and AWE. She has also written several chapbooks, including Poetry is Not a Project (Ugly Ducking Presse, 2010). Her writing has appeared in POETRY, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and Boston Review, among other places. She is a co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry (McSweeney’s, 2013). She is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and lives in New York City.

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