Tuesday, August 17, 2004

this is actually a rewrite of one of the first poems I wrote after I stopped writing fiction, five years ago

1,000 Words for Snow

adolescent anorexics can be nothing but a cliche
their necks and waists pared down to a commonality

they are becoming feral and angelic
fur springing from their forearms and upper lips
cheerleaders with yellow and navy polyester croptops
revealing an emptiness

their hair falls like blond rain, more giving up
the scalp for the pillow each morning
the scent of vomit, bleach and strawberry lip gloss
coalesces in front of them like skywriting
bargaining with God, the body

eyes burn like stomach acid
mouths drool uncontrollably at the refrigerator light
they are reducing to satin bows around necks
the texture of new teddy bear fur, and pink

curling into an earlier and earlier knot
recapitulating into a sparrow, a fish, a fishbone
a wishbone of endless white ice
or vast vanilla ice cream

they are returning to something everyone
remembers but cannot say
ivory novices in an abbey
with blood colored shadows
prostrating themselves before

before it happened
before the ever slower beating organ, praying
for the final reversal of miracle

and in their ears they always hear the tinny ringing
a scratchy voice from a swollen victrola
singing of the snow-white
beauty of bones

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