Mar/Apr 2015 • Vol. XXXVII No. 2 Poetry |

The Name of the Island Was Marriage

I The name of the island was Island and the name of the Friday was Good. Sunflower roots lay smoked on a bed of moss over sea-flattened stones and sealed in a cedar box, like a tiny coffin on the china: the unpent smoke outpuffed its alderwood burn on our cheeks. The constituents of a thirty-year marriage lay before us, like a mis-en-place: ingredients of pleasure, local and strange. We assembled them as if we had never used them before, like the raw deer hearts strewn with wildflowers, pearls of herring roe scooped up on branches of hemlock. Stinging nettles, sweet, long-roasted: where, where now was their sting?   II To name an island for the very idea of an island: its insularity, its nonnegotiable unfluidity. All pent in by what it is not— the restless aqueous—so its name insisted it was what it was. The name of the marriage had come to be Angry Teen. The name of the marriage had come to be Did We Fuck Up. Skunk cabbage

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