Optimistic as a disembodied
heartbeat, I kissed
willy-nilly my worst son’s wounds.
For all my fertile hours,
I didn’t wake unless he slept
inside my ticking—
like white whiskerless rabbits
I let him look me in the brain.
One dream, he handed me
an hourglass of sugar,
then slammed his other hand
on top of mine, when we
were starving for a mouth.
So we had sweetness for a while.
Elizabeth Metzger’s first collection, The Spirit Papers
, won the 2016 Juniper Prize and will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in Winter 2017. Her chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death
is forthcoming from Horsethief Books. Her poetry has recently appeared in The New Yorker
, Best New Poets 2015
, The Iowa Review
, and elsewhere. She is the Poetry Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal.
more by Elizabeth Metzger: