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Poetry

The Origins of the English Novel

Some mornings, waking early
in the business cycle, I breakfast

on serial metonymy and find you shipwrecked

on the posturepedic,

your body pooling up and emptying out,

your hair a metaphor

for a rainy day, and I know I’m ready

to abandon the gold

standard and the family pharmaceuticals

for a unit by the sea, the wind

rattling the windows to the rhythm of

prime numbers, the waves crashing

like waves only

then you lift your head

and the absentee ballots arrive

with tales of the epidermis:

the room begins to shake

off its dream— the walls

are white, the bedding blue—

and somewhere

beyond the deadbolt and swirling gases

a world grows cool and firm:

the changing of clothes begins.

Contributor

Matthew Brogan

Matthew Brogan's is a poet and the executive director of Seattle Arts & Lectures.

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The Brooklyn Rail

APR-MAY 2003

All Issues