Spring 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 2 Poetry |

Poem about the Cages with a Sentence from Wallace Stevens

Cage I                   (The Cage)                    No point mentioning the bars. It's dark. The ceiling is low; the floor's cold. You're bent double and up to your ankles in dirty water. You've been told to empty your pockets—but nothing's in them. And your tongue has been lopped off. If she could, she would press your heart in a book. Don't think about it. Pretend the cage is empty. That beating is only thunder, those open walls are night sky. Pretend the dead know better. Cage II                   (The Heart)                    At last, the heart has been driven out—some persistent watery form, beating or washing away. The jellied eye, the porous bone: you're emptied. And now the unkind dead moves in. Your trough is full of knuckles, and somewhere—not too far off—the hard eye of the sun rolls up. Around you the dark g

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