The Elect (3 November 2004)*
You can’t hear me
whimper over thumps
on your Bible—the whumpety-
whumps of a flat losing
air—quickly, quickly, we’re going away
where rubber meets sum down the road: fur;
lights light dead eyes. Mouse.
Turtle-deer. Some body’s home-
to look almost real.
*November 2nd, George W. Bush was elected to a second term, as 43rd President of the United States.
Eight months earlier, we'd shocked and awed Iraq.
This Time Gone So Fine
Sheltered wilderness a paradox, naturally
macabre. I am
inside. Outside, goofy
moose-face above graceful gams;
loon’s tremolo; grand
web’s hoarding. Nights,
the cat, her catch. Each fresh kill
makes kitty cry, a sound like sex while mourning.
Her hunts aren’t required.
Prides don’t play with food. Domestication confuses.
What cat bats, bats back.
A mole, a vole, last night,
a squirrel. Restless
and mean, I wrest her prize,
fling it from the porch.
She sniffs blood.
I stalk off.
She’s found in first light.
A man lifts the dead
recall my grandmother’s hands
in final days, each pointy nail,
perfection. Left eye, an em dash,
the right, open, shining, a tiny
black olive, or just an eye
witness to its own abrupt subtraction.
Five a.m. walkout.
Be where the storm
a wooden porch,
a pewtered pond.
Pink sugar-water attracts
wings razoring razoring
wings stay winds. Sharp
within feathers and flap.
Slim bills suck
sappy treats meant only for them.
What can you say of false nectar?
It would rot birds’ teeth.
So do squirrels—quarrels.
Some want water, others, seeds.
Each wants to feast another’s feeder.
Nature’s raw raucousness flares,
ebbs. Out on the pond
a loon’s eye, red.
Elena Alexander is a poet and writer. Poems or prose appear in, e.g., BOMB, the Brooklyn Rail, Geometry Literary Journal, Hanging Loose, Rattapallax, and as of May, 2019, The Body in Language:An Anthology. Alexander’s poem, “How the Lurking,” was chosen to be made into a public poster (2001). She wrote and edited Footnotes: Six Choreographers Inscribe the Page(Routledge, 1998), and received Honorable Mention, The O. Henry Awards Prize Stories, Best of 1997.