Winter 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 1 Poetry |

Normal

Assent, and you are the sane . . . Emily Dickinson First classes, the sun is out, the darlings Troop in, my colleagues Tell me I look normal. I am normal. The falsie on my left makes me In a certain sense more perfectly normal. An American who lives beyond my means, A snake oil foot in the door, A politician with a strong Handshake in an election year. Crafted of latex, it repairs the real. Like one of those trees with a major limb lopped, I'm a shade more sublime today than yesterday. Stormed at with shot and shell, A symbol of rich experience, A scheme to outlive you all. Meanwhile a short piece of cosmic string Uncoiled from the tenth dimension Has fastened itself to my bare chest. Ominous asp, it burns and stings, Frowns to show it has no idea How it arrived here. Would prefer to creep off. Yet it is pink and smooth as gelatin. It will not bite and can perhaps be tamed. Want to pet it? It cannot hurt you. Care to fingertip my silky scar? Now I am better, charmin

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The Gurney

By Alicia Ostriker

Assent, and you are the sane . . . Emily Dickinson First classes, the sun is out, the darlings Troop in, my colleagues Tell me I look normal. I am […]

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