6.14 / November 2011

Three Poems

Birth as Agathism

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First, we’ll say: O Mama-cow, milk-giver, how your legs
                    scissor apart. How your hooves twitch in dirt.

We’ll say: We will drink what you give us.

We’ll say: How we could eat.

Then we’ll say: A nose! A muzzle!

We’ll say: Of all your yellow juices, none of them
                    like nightmares.

(We’ll say: Stash those bayonets).

We’ll say: O, baby calf, how you stutter your stringy muscles
                    across the grass!

(Then we’ll say: Escape, dear one).

We’ll say: We’ll wake you when the poppies burst
                    in heaven.

Then we’ll say: Did we take the photo?

We’ll say: Let us see let us see let us

We’ll say: 1. n. Of or related to disequilibrium. 2. adj. To be the first
                    breath of light.

We’ll say: Mama, your calf is an excuse the same way sex
                    is an excuse. The same way sight is an excuse.

When it’s over, we’ll say: little baby hooves, please,
                    for the love of God & for the blood in our fingers,

We’ll say: Find some cozy prayer to snuggle inside
                    & never leave.

Why I’m Back Even Though I’m Pissed

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I need you
to scratch
the place
my shoulder
that I could
never reach
if my arms
were ropes
to tie us
into a knot
& my spinal
were not
just a cage
to stow away
or a water
bottle filled
with spit

“S” as in “Sex,” She Says

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Download the poem.

Jesse Damiani is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the recipient of the John Mackay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award. His poetry has been published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, the minnesota review, 42opus, and elimae, among others.
6.14 / November 2011