By Dana Levin b. 1965 Dana Levin
The father died and then the mother died.
                  And you were so addicted

to not feeling them, you told no one about the clamp   

around the vena cava. Dam against the blood's

But I've got you now. Trussed at the waist   
                  in a wooden chair,

odor of spice and   
                  oranges, clove-pierced, incandescent stores   

                  to light our lab's decor—

Here. I saved this just for you.
                  Beetle-cleaned and sharp at the tip, the finger that shook

in your set face   
                  from the hand that smoothed your hair—

Make a fist.
                  Wrap the tube round your fleshy arm, pull the black rubber

                  will we finally

see the sludge of their accumulated mouths, ah, you've said,
                  how they poisoned me...

Pierce in   
                  with your mother's finger-bone, taste the slow up-well—

                   Sweet. Surge ambrosial and clear—

A honey, an ichor.   
                   From those who waited long   

                   in your veins.

Source: Poetry (June 2007).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2007
 Dana  Levin


Poet Dana Levin grew up in California’s Mojave Desert and earned a BA from Pitzer College and an MA from New York University. Levin’s collections of poetry include In the Surgical Theatre (1999), Wedding Day (2005), and Sky Burial (2011). Selecting Levin’s manuscript for the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize, Louise Glück praised the work as “sensuous, compassionate, violent, extravagant.” In the Surgical . . .

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