Hilda Raz

H
Hilda Raz
Pristine
I am sick with worry when you call.
You tell me a story about ears
How the doctor asked about your earaches
Peered in and pronounced “Pristine.
Clean as a whistle.” And you were cured.

Because I am a maker of poems
And you are a maker of music
You tell me the word pristine was perfect.
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Anna Maria Is Coming, or Maybe Thomas Barton, or Max!
New life! Will he toe out like Dolly, like John? Will her eyes be fires?
Blue and green, like Papa's, the ocean at the shore?
Will she sing in the bath? Play piano in her diapers?
Will her heart leap at large machinery? Will he say, "Dribe dribe,"
to his daddy, entering the tunnel? Will his hair be red? Will her hair curl?
Will her little face have the circumflex eyebrows of her mother?
The pointed chin?
Her hair be fair, bright blonde? Will she frown at the light by the river?
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Day-Old Bargain
Bargain tarts, raspberry, goose,
he said, don't write about that
surgery, women who have hacked off write
all parts and natures of women
who lose food in the bottom parts
of refrigerators, onions, scallions,
sour tomatoes, tiny cocktail weenies
lost in the airless dark write
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48
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Early Morning, Left-Handed
Lear's five nevers over
the fool hanged, and Cordelia
and Lear dead at last, Edmund
reported and yes he was loved
by both evil sisters, so what.
I'm awake in the dawn. Cold
stone floors. The cat. His
father loved him too, I tell
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Narrative Without People
The soaked books lip open in piles.
The shelves stoop, slough paint.
The doors, their locks sprung, hinge air
open to weather, gulp rain.
Something here enters the trees.

If we believe in ghosts, white pearl
shadows the batten and boards. Rust
runs on the shelves. The sounds on air
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Now
Some problems of self-loathing, worry:
the thumbnail blotched in a bank box
door grows out, three-quarter moon marrow spot
filled out with white bruise travels down
my thumb at regular speed, so when I glance
down it's what I see left of center, not
the odd breast, the malformed scruff
at head, the old thought leaking pain
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Some Questions about the Storm
What's the bird ratio overhead?
Zero: zero. Maybe it's El Niño?

The storm, was it bad?
Here the worst ever. Every tree hurt.

Do you love trees?
Only the gingko, the fir, the birch.

Yours? Do you name your trees?
Who owns the trees? Who's talking
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