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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"We Hope You Like Her"

In the first segment of the last landscape, you pick up
old poems you’ve written. They are the first poems you

considered worthwhile. Your mother leads you
to the master bedroom to show you your birth cards.

People dead congratulating you on being born. They say
Natalie Dawn—we hope you are a good girl—and mud

floats up your throat, the filter of a cigarette trapped
in the wastebin, the note to Catherine telling her and

scribbling out just when he let you out between his
legs. You remark on the roundness of your face. So sixteen

and precious. What a little baby. Three years earlier
he reached into your body and presented you the stone

of your name. Ah, Aunt Rose sends her love to the girl,
the members of the bereavement group say rainbow

rainbow. Daniel was the only boy for whom your parents
threw a baby shower and Great Grandma didn’t come

out of superstition. In his death, no more showers. A crib
from the money guarded the rest of you. A cage of blond

good luck. In the next segment, a letter you wrote and
a letter you crumbled. You tell us Daniel is the best boy

among us because he turned blue and stopped. You dream
and it is wretched as the horse whose hair has rinsed

with flame. You swallow spinach and it is wretched as
the origins of immolation, a sauce sprinkled with sacrifice.

The night is dense and you rest alone. You rest and it is
a boring sentence. You flare your cheeks. Dark seams of

skin taunt your body. A brother is dead who had never
lived. Isn’t this the curse? Light not a source but a necessary trick.

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