2006 – Laurel Bastian – Elope

Poetry selection from the 2006 issue

by Laurel Bastian

Take back the moon, Sally.
Lasso it down with your yellow sash
that looks so pretty around your birch waist.
The boys come to throw rocks at your window.
You don’t want them, what they offer,
the tough sap stuck between teeth and lip.
And you don’t want to be a seamstress. Or work in the deli.
Or bake to sell and sell to bake things
that smell like sugared pumpkins.
Or go to church on Sunday with the whole damn clan
shuffling in like dull moose.
You were born naked with a trout in your teeth.
Down by the river, Sally,
in the reeds in the patience of the evening
we float in our perfect round bodies.
This whole town serenades you when your back is turned,
in love with the nape of your neck.
Leave home Sally, pumping your legs in the sun
over wheat fields and bogs not looking back
and just glad. You will be a movie star in the jungle.
You can hunt for truffles long as you like.
You can make love to the shepard in the barn,
give him your gold body and your father’s watch
and laugh all night long
and tell no one.

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