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Category archive for: Laure-Anne Bosselaar

At the Musée Rodin in Paris

in front of a window

facing south, two white

marble hands fold

around air.

A label on the pedestal reads

Le Secret.

Did Rodin also sculpt

the air between those hands?

Is it caught there ever since:

the mold of secrecy?

   I waited hours for the sun

to flow through them.

   All it did was cast

a shadow to the ground.

from The Hour Between Dog & WolfFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 1997
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

English Flavors

  I love to lick English the way I licked the hard

round licorice sticks the Belgian nuns gave me for six

good conduct points on Sundays after mass.

  Love it when ‘plethora’, ‘indolence’, ‘damask’,

or my new word: ‘lasciviousness,’ stain my tongue,

thicken my saliva, sweet as those sticks—black

  and slick with every lick it took to make daggers

out of them: sticky spikes I brandished straight up

to the ebony crucifix in the dorm, with the pride

  of a child more often punished than praised.

‘Amuck,’ ‘awkward,’ or ‘knuckles,’ have jaw-

breaker flavors; there’s honey in ‘hunter’s moon,’

  hot pepper in ‘hunk,’ and ‘mellifluous’ has aromas

of almonds and milk. Those tastes of recompense

still bittersweet today as I roll, bend and shape

  English in my mouth, repeating its syllables

like acts of contrition, then sticking out my new tongue—

flavored and sharp—to the ambiguities of meaning.

from The Hour Between Dog & WolfFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 1997
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Fallen

  A friend had a Minnesota catalogue company

send me plant-them-yourself dahlias by mail.

The tubers nested in a rumpled mess of shredded paper.

One strip, caught deep in a root’s cleavage

resisted, wouldn’t come out. I pulled carefully

at the white paper, reading its truncated sentence:

. . . enclosed manuscript for your Poetry Prize. I hope . . .

  I remembered those publishers’ guidelines:

we will recycle those manuscripts not selected,

in a manner that will maintain the writers’ privacy.

Shredded, they sent the mess to nurseries, to protect

other bundles from being mishandled, torn. It took me

three hours to separate the fragments of that specific

font and paper from the other strips. I saved seven lines.

  So this poem is for you—the one who wrote:

blossom twigs in a glass jar by the bed and God of the hinge,

potential or fallen: it’s that time of doubt again.

I want you to know I love that line, its surrendering tone,

its rhythm—and pinned it to my wall. In Autumn,

when my first red dahlia blooms, I’ll put it

in a glass jar, and place it under the word fallen.

from The Hour Between Dog & WolfFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 1997
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.