Spring 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1997 |

Elk

That it was. —Fleshwarm, earthen, a marvelous breathing thing. And the glance, a lastingness from the cornea, milky, asking sky. And if you had seen the great beast fall—unsure, to its knees, then struggle the leaden head— to gait a few yards before collapsing, antlers first, like a black oak's crown, top-heavy into earth, you might worship the stubborn gravity of land, and the garden, sudden its insides: Harvest of soft, wet rocks, melons,—or is it a cave where the menses of a secret ocean have dried?—Blood from the mouth. Tongue, beard-black, says death.—And teeth, yellow seeds, from which all these boulders grew? And here's the intestine's white chain mottled brown, its lumen narrowing down like a perfect sentence pronounced by God. And here's the great comma of each lung, bellows undone. And here's the slug, a period in the heart's balloon. And now this sunrise of flora and fauna laid out, bloody map of the thing apart, and you the hunter, instruc

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MARK IRWIN’s fifth collection of poetry, Bright Hunger, appeared from BOA in 2004. He teaches at the University of Southern California and divides his time between there and his home in Colorado.

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That it was. —Fleshwarm, earthen, a marvelous breathing thing. And the glance, a lastingness from the cornea, milky, asking sky. And if you had seen the great beast fall—unsure, to […]

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That it was. —Fleshwarm, earthen, a marvelous breathing thing. And the glance, a lastingness from the cornea, milky, asking sky. And if you had seen the great beast fall—unsure, to […]

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