Earth Science

By J. T. Barbarese b. 1948
I smell me   
coming up behind me
some days—
sweet sarcophagal

history. The Ark
after the beasts   
disembarked,
the motel bed

as the maid draws
the shades, shakes the sheets,
blinks back the stink,
the leafed hollow

where the stalled mower   
sits in its exhaust   
and smells of wronged
flesh, wing, meat   

but me mostly,
climbing the steps,
extract of me,
stinking of me.

Source: Poetry (January 2009).

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2009
 J. T. Barbarese

Biography

J.T. Barbarese’s new book, Sweet Spot, was published this spring by Northwestern University Press.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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