Spring 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1995 |

Echo Location

    Stop quivering while I insert straws in your nostrils and wrap your head in cloth I have immersed in plaster.   For a life mask, the subject must be rubbed with gelatin. And you must be the love du jour.   I have studied the duct-taped mullions of monarch wings for inspiration. I've learned the paramedic's rip.     Don't squirm. (But I ran my finger down its spine   when its back was turned.) A perfect containment invites trespass,     the wish to shave below the skin   and write in seed ink, mine.     I can testify the tic of prayer persists in nonbelievers.   Under my distressed surface, under duct tape, the Hail Mary has a will of its own.   The spirit uses me. It holds me up        to the light like a slide. It claims a little give, a quiver,   can prevent a quake. Says copy the vibrato inside trees—       the star shakes, heart shakes—    that ruin the wood commercial

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Alice Fulton 's nine books include a new poetry collection forthcoming from W.W. Norton in spring 2015. She also is the author of The Nightingales of Troy: Connected Stories (W.W. Norton 2008) and Cascade Experiment: Selected Poems (W.W. Norton, 2004). In 2011, she received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award "to honor exceptional accomplishment." She is the Ann S. Bowers Professor of English at Cornell.

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    Stop quivering while I insert straws in your nostrils and wrap your head in cloth I have immersed in plaster.   For a life mask, the subject must be rubbed with […]

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