May Swenson

M
May Swenson
His Suicide
He looked down at his withering body and saw a hair
near his navel, swaying.

And now he saw his other hairs rise up.

He felt a hectic current in his veins.
Looking within, he saw the bubbling of his blood.

He cursed his fever, saying:
“It is the chemistry of prayer.
It increases in frequency,
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Stone Gullets
Stone gullets among Inrush FeedBacksuck and
The borders swallowOutburst Huge engorgements Swallow
In gulps the seaTide crams jaggedSmacks snorts chuckups Follow
In urgent thirstJaws the hollowInsurge Hollow
Gushing evacuations follow Jetty it must Outpush Greed
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Analysis of Baseball
It’s about Ball fits
the ball, mitt, but
the bat, not all
and the mitt. the time.
Ball hits Sometimes
bat, or it ball gets hit
hits mitt. (pow) when bat
Bat doesn’t meets it,
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Feel Me
“Feel me to do right,” our father said on his deathbed.
We did not quite know—in fact, not at all—what he meant.
His last whisper was spent as through a slot in a wall.
He left us a key, but how did it fit? “Feel me
to do right.” Did it mean that, though he died, he would be felt
through some aperture, or by some unseen instrument
our dad just then had come to know? So, to do right always,
we need but feel his spirit? Or was it merely his apology
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Fountains of Aix
Beards ofwater
some of them have.
Others are blowing whistles ofwater.
Faces astonished that constantwater
jumps from their mouths.
Jaws of lions are snarlingwater
through green teeth over chins of moss.
Dolphins toss jets ofwater
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The James Bond Movie
The popcorn is greasy, and I forgot to bring a Kleenex.
A pill that’s a bomb inside the stomach of a man inside

The Embassy blows up. Eructations of flame, luxurious
cauliflowers giganticize into motion. The entire 29-ft.

screen is orange, is crackling flesh and brick bursting,
blackening, smithereened. I unwrap a Dentyne and, while

jouncing my teeth in rubber tongue-smarting clove, try
with the 2-inch-wide paper to blot butter off my fingers.
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The Lowering
The flag is folded
lengthwise, and lengthwise again,
folding toward the open edge,
so that the union of stars on the blue
field remains outward in full view;
a triangular folding is then begun
at the striped end,
by bringing the corner of the folded edge
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Motherhood
She sat on a shelf,
her breasts two bellies
on her poked-out belly,
on which the navel looked
like a sucked-in mouth—
her knees bent and apart,
her long left arm raised,
with the large hand knuckled
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October
1

A smudge for the horizon
that, on a clear day, shows
the hard edge of hills and
buildings on the other coast.
Anchored boats all head one way:
north, where the wind comes from.
You can see the storm inflating
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Question
Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen

Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt

Where can I go
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Sleeping with Boa
I show her how to put her arms around me,
but she’s much too small.
What’s worse, she doesn’t understand.
And
although she lies beside me, sticking
out her tongue, it’s herself she licks.

She likes my stroking hand.
And
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Women
WomenOr they
should beshould be
pedestalslittle horses
movingthose wooden
pedestalssweet
movingoldfashioned
to thepainted
motionsrocking
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