Summer/Fall 1997 • Vol. XIX No. 3/4 Poetry |


He said he liked the slouch & lean of it, the Dietrich Garbo Dean & Brando up against the wall of it in both my hand & his. He had a fondness for Russian novels, my boy- Friend. He stuttered a little. He said he Liked the throat of it, the fat of tongue, Back of palate, wind-up, pitch & hock- A-lugie charm of it. He tracked Animals on weekends, that boy- Friend. Ejaculated pre- Maturely. Fork & Absence is what I thought. Stuck Arrowhead. Left margin. This X doesn't do Subjunctive, doesn't Care to equal much of any- Body's anything. Nobody's variable. Nobody's mark. Just its own gold butterfly Flying hurriedly west (O don't rush so lest your Wings shred like pennants like ribbons like lines!). Around 1000 B.C., Phoenicians gave their letter K the name Kaph—what babies call me: kaph—which means "hollow of the hand."

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Kathy Fagan’s fifth collection of poems, Sycamore, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2016. Poems appearing here are from a manuscript in progress. She teaches poetry at Ohio State University.

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