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Poems by Elena Alexander

The Elect

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;

flesh. Blaring

lights light dead eyes. Mouse.

Turtle-deer. Some body's home-

made child

stitched up,

to look almost real.

3 November 2004

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, and nights,

the cat, her catch. Each fresh kill

makes kitty cry, a sound like sex while mourning

Your 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,

mean, I wrest her prize. Fling it from the porch.

She sniffs blood. I stalk off.

In morning a man lifts the dead
rodent. Paws

recall my grandmother's hands

in final days, each pointy nail,

perfection. Its 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


the wooden porch,

the pewtered pond.

Pink sugar-water attracts

wings razoring razoring rain

rain persistent

wings stay winds.

Sharp bones warm

within feathers and flap.

Slim bills suck

sappy treats meant only for them.

What can you say of false nectar?

It rots bird's teeth.

Jays come.

So do squirrels quarrels.

Some want water, some, seeds.

Each wants to feast another's feeder.

Nature's raw raucousness flares,

ebbs. Out on the pond

a loon eyes red.

Jackman, ME



Elena Alexander

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.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2007

All Issues