Apology for want by Mary Jo Bang

By Mary Jo Bang

Winner of the 1996 Bakeless Literary book Prize for Poetry

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Example text

Enviable knickknack planet. With one glance The eye takes in the scene: forever Mitted fingers, Bright muffled throat, swiss dot Of shaken snow. And straight up That floating slip Of frigid air Where colorless sky Meets cover of glass. It says, This world is closed. No one here is ever lost; nothing Cannot be won. Page 35 III Page 37 If Wishes Were Horses That the wound had never been its vast geography, red terrain forming somewhere near the level of the heart, frayed edges folding together like a wake that closes after the departed.

Sentenced to 20 years for Murder in the 2nd degree, Jefferson County, Alabama.  Female.  The wounding description: scar above the left elbow. Her inked prints course the ragged card stock, become a noisy Rorschach, dark mirror facing out. Page 44 What Was Seen Who wouldn't have grown into longing?  When Eddie Marten kissed me in the afternoon, he smelled of thick soup and cigarettes. An Emerson fan scanned the room corner to corner.  Goodbye Camille. Chalk nights and the dream of heat relieved by dueful thunder, wind so fierce it would blow the raindrops sideways.

Come back. A raven watches from the dark corner.  By the door sits a dimpled girl. Her flowered dress, an echoing note.  We are all we have. Page 70 NOTES In Order Not to Be Eten Nor All to Torne The title is from a usage example under the word ''wolf" in the Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition. The Clairvoyant "Quartz-fret and sparks of salt" is taken from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins: "With blackness bound, and all / The thick stars round him roll / Flashing like flecks or coal, / Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt, / In grimy vasty vault" ("The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe").

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