Winter 2003 • Vol. XXV No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2003 |

Sweet

1. The girl with the sweet mouth is singing. On stage, she forgets her hunger and sings beyond her body, beyondthe sour borders of the life each fan longs to taste. Oh, if they could smell her acrid breath, open the closet where she keeps thirty pairs of running shoes bought on frantic New York afternoons after one doctor, then another tried to cure her. She will die in that closet. I remember the songs so sweet no wonder they choked her. Her brother's arrangements ran like syrup down the edges of her voice. The girl who taught herself to drum with chopsticks. The daughter whose mother called each stop along the endless tours. 2. A skull looked into the mirror. A fat face looked back. It stared at you from the mirror of the Lincoln bedroom, the day that Nixon said you were the best of young America. Those were the years young Americans fled to Canada. But you were safe in the girlish bed your parents kept until your death. After the cure, the cheerful needlepoint for Dr.

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Janet McAdams’s books include The Island of Lost Luggage (University of Arizona Press, 2000), which won the American Book Award, Feral (Salt Modern Poets, UK, 2007), Red Weather (University of Arizona, 2012), and a chapbook of prose poems, Seven Boxes for the Country After (Kent State University Press, 2016).

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