Personally Engraved

By Alice Fulton b. 1952 Alice Fulton
There are many opportunities here for unrequited friendship,
the offer letter said. All you need is a chain saw and die grinder.

In this spirit I force my eyes across your message,
revisiting that due diligence tone you do so well.

I’m searching for some whispered twist or shout,
but all emotion’s leveled, the way a child will draw

a snowman and a mansion the same size.
What is a dedicated icemaker

dedicated to? Do you really think
those shades you wear above your head

will keep the sun out of  your mind?
Rainbows stick to any abject object.

That’s why I’m wearing that same old funky dress.
When you kissed my forehead it felt like the priest’s

thumbscrew touch rubbing in the dust-
thou-art Ash Wednesday smudge.

I’ve learned the dance instructor’s expository gestures.
Now I’m learning tangos to be danced alone.

While comrades buff officious cases
barfed from their brains —

eight parts moon venom one part nose waste —
I ask can mine be personally engraved?

I’m living in a please state, smarming
how I’ve long admired your hardscape of artists

morphed to small appliances. That being said,
I’m having issues. Do you really think

that scarf  will keep your snowman warm?

Source: Poetry (October 2013).


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

October 2013
 Alice  Fulton


Poet and writer Alice Fulton was born in 1952 and raised in Troy, New York. She earned a BA at Empire State College and an MFA from Cornell University. She is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Dance Script with Electric Ballerina (1982), which won an Associated Writing Programs Award; Palladium (1986), winner of the National Poetry Series; Powers of Congress (1990; reissued 2001); Sensual Math (1995); Felt: Poems . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Life Choices

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