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Formulary

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We are dropping one and gaining two—.
The things I cannot do

include to sleep,
to calm the spillway of the blood,

to face an auditorium,
wishing it were churchy pillbox hats—

recital mothers’—
with no sense of Vogue or the Baroque.

I’ve other pills
to tramp on grief,

estrange pain,
and hatch the part of waking that is dreams,

double one dose to un-depress
and to write less and less

a chronicle of anxiety.

I spot-treat
a spate of addiction

in this faint dusk world
of peach sky and plum leaflets—

a woman in her prime,
pilled together.
Source: Poetry (September 2009)

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

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