Winter 2004 • Vol. XXVI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2004 |

The Washing

Everyone's got their massacre site just around the corner.—Jim Landale, Hague Spokesman, Kosovo 1. In the mirror, open your mouth. Press down on your tongue and say Ahh. Ah. Red tipped,   against the black back reaches of the throat— Reflected Self, dip in. Reach out from the mirror and dip in. Dip in to the open mouth. Dip in your fingers and climb in. So that you stand in the middle of your throat— in the ribbed-slick cavern of the throat— so that you stand at a pool—saying Ah, Ah, Ach, Ich, the red leaf of the willow trailing    like hair over the black    water. Get down on your knees and look in. Bring yourself close and look in. As and Bs, upglistening like fish. Upglistening and then lifting    over the pool, Ahh, Behh, breath over water in the air around you, what will you bathe, Throat-Stander,    in the songs black pool? 2. Foot bones gleaming whitely in a scrim of dew:    sigh now, so beauti

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Dana Levin
Dana Levin is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Banana Palace (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), which was a finalist for the Rilke Prize. She serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in Saint Louis.

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