Tell the truth I told me When I couldn’t speak.
Sorrow’s a barbaric art, crude as a Viking ship Or a child
Who rode a spotted pony to the lake away from summer
In the 1930s Toward the iron lung of polio.
According to the census I am unmarried And unchurched.
The woman in the field dressed only in the sun.
Too far gone to halt the Arctic Cap’s catastrophe, big beautiful
Blubbery white bears each clinging to his one last hunk of ice.
I am obliged, now, to refrain from dying, for as long as it is possible.
For whom left am I first?
We have come to terms with our Self
Like a marmoset getting out of her Great Ape suit.
Source: Poetry (October 2013).
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This poem originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Poetry magazine
Poems by Lucie Brock-Broido