By Randall Mann Randall Mann
In a precisely lighted room, the CFO speaks
of  start-to-start dependencies.
Says let me loop back with you.

Says please cascade as appropriate.
It’s that time of morning, so we all can smell
the doughnut factory. If scent were white

noise, doughnuts would be that scent.
The factory won’t sell at any price.
The building next to it burns the animals

we experiment on. I have worked
on a few preclinical reports in my time.
The rhesus monkeys become

so desperate that they attempt suicide,
over and over again. I am legally obligated
to spare you the particulars.

How could things be any different?
Here many choice molecules have been born.
Here. This pill will dissolve like sugar.

Your last five months will be good ones.

Source: Poetry (April 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2013
 Randall  Mann


Randall Mann’s poems are often set within the landscape of Florida or California. Influenced by Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Bishop, and Donald Justice, Mann’s poetry—at once vulnerable, unflinching, and brave in its ambivalence—explores themes of loss, attraction, brutality, and expectation. Of his preference for working in form, Mann says, “Form helps me approach more comfortably the personal, helps me harden argument.”

Mann is . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Activities, Jobs & Working, Arts & Sciences, Sciences


Poetic Terms Tercet

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.