Suitable Poetic Subjects by Bonnie Auslander

Suitable Poetic Subjects by Bonnie Auslander

Poetry, Vol. 4.4, Dec. 2010

Love and valor and the quest.
The meaning of death,
God’s lucky numbers,
His favorite kind of whiskey and
His favorite time of day to drink it.

Later, the habits of certain animals
such as the ant, marmoset and canary.
Navigation as metaphor, and the company
of men who sit beside the glass.

Urns, flowers, courtship, and hedges.
Later still, God’s meaninglessness,
motherhood, cycles, the body
the body the body the body
until I met you and forgot

there was anything else to write about:
The way your gaze settles, like water,
the way your lips look at mine.
Do you believe everyone wants to be in a poem?
Even the six-year-old with ashy knees,

even the oysters about to be eaten,
even the politician with a bucket of cash?
I write myself into early drafts
so we can meet at evening’s edge,

but later I take myself out again.
When all subjects are available

to all poets at the same time,
the world will decide for fire,
the ambidextrous dwarf will straighten,
the big top will blow, but till then,

seek the help of professionals.
No one but us knows how to manage this zoo.

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Jennifer Juneau

The Amnesia Academy by Marko Fong

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