Entering the Ouse

By Paula Bohince Paula Bohince Read the Q & A
First the bad boots
give up their strength, then the toes lift
their anchors. The ankle
bones are broken,
and so on, until the bladder lets go, without
shame, and the genital
organ washes away, the ovum
and her fertile signals. A proxy pain
stands in for the larger

Has nothing to do
with tufts of snow blown upon
the unforgiving surface,
but how I mistook the beauty of those particle
deaths, their of-the-world
stardom, as a kind of metaphysical river,
that if I looked long enough,
with enough reverence...

Let my waist, bled numb, stand in
for that miscalculation. And the severed
friendships in the current’s wake, the bloom
blown off the stricken
self. I saw formal water,
knowing my body wanted to go there.
My only child. How
I’ve betrayed you.

Source: Poetry (December 2010).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2010
 Paula  Bohince


Paula Bohince is the author of two poetry collections, both from Sarabande Books: Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods (2008) and The Children (2012). She lives in Pennsylvania.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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