Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1990
Genre Poetry
Origin US
Publisher University of Georgia Press
ISBN-10 0820312002
ISBN-13 978-0820312002
My Copy library hardback
First Read August 06, 2017

The Translation of Babel

You Wreck Your Car

Maybe you'll live, maybe some fluke will have
the emergency crew waiting with their pants on.

It could be they weren't even sleeping, just
playing cards or eating fried chicken inside
the station house, drinking nothing but, say,
coffee, just two or three blocks from your mistake.

It turns out they had been ready, eager
even, to make tracks to your accident. They

live for this. Odds are you'll be light-headed,
too giddy maybe even to notice much about

how their hands dance, altogether, above
your wounds, or how they pamper you to the cot,

flatter you against all that you deserve,
and float you to the hospital. Your eyes may

fail now, and that familiar weariness
will coax you into accepting sleep, so you'll

never know how, even as you gesture
toward death, your angels are most alive.

Quoted on August 12, 2017

From Embalming

You'll need a corpse, your own or someone else's.
You'll need a certain distance; the less you care
about your corpse the better.


Those people in the parlor
made requests, remember? Don't be concerned.

Whatever this was to them, it is all yours now.
The clay of your creation lies before you,
invites your hand. Becoming anxious? That's good.
You should be a little anxious. You're ready.
Hold the knife as you would a quill, hardly at all.
See the first line before you cross it, and draw.

Quoted on August 12, 2017

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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