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Additional resources for A Protocol for Touch (Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry, 7)

Example text

My mother cut off her first husband's ear Before she held my dad with other arms Their king-size bed, her guns, equally a part Of what we must call love or strong desire. Could shots I never heard have really rocked Me loose from childhood and explain the way I resist your pull but cannot move away?  How effortlessly rocked Wears down to being stoned and healing harms. Which nonetheless does not erode desire To be less whole, which is to say, a part. Page 25 Faces barely seen and never touched part Me into many tiny braids; they weigh On my chest, tense, slacken, derail desire For ease and graceyou, balanced, in my ear.

At home, I fear my sister most; at school, the kitchen workers.  Only the women. Only the women who are black.  She used to take it out upon command so that our keeper would have to let us out to see the nurse who'd pop the eye back in. ) And even if the matron did suspect something amiss, her hands were tied. For what else can you do, confronted with a beautiful, sniveling child, one blind eye in her head and one in hand, except to send her out into the nightfar from your perfect visionaccompanied by a train of closest friends?

It is loneliness that bows her head, that breaks Her free from silence's sweet spell, spilling Her voice onto the brittle air, breathless In its rush: green of sea, pine, forest, spring; Blue of midnight, cerulean, cornflower; Sky, navy, cadet, and royal blue; blue Page 5 Violet, turquoise, aquamarine; teal blue, Blue green, periwinkle; burnt and raw Sienna, bittersweet, brick and in- Dian red, goldenrod and thistle, white. And exile enters here, the lull and pull Of distance between the voice's deepest source And its unmappable destinations.

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