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Now It Begins

Mia Nussbaum

“The 400 horses!” “The 400 modern horses”
“Without bits or leads” “Are coming this way!”
“In their dark blue dun” “Their piebald” “& Roan”
“The dainty bones” “Of our inner ears” “Freak”
“The arthritic seer” “In the basement apartment”
“Groans” “The city shakes” “Her apron” “Out!”
“& From the hills, the caves, the glaciated & skies!”
“The caribou we cannot catch” “From the 31st herd”
“Is coming this way!” “She is a lady!” “Barren-ground
caribou” “Her velvet shed” “She eats sedges”
“Her feet paddle” “We are unsettled” “By the fact of her!”
“& Her” “Asymmetrical glory” “Short cars stop”
“Long trains stop” “Squat or tall buildings stop” “Stop”
“Whole flocks” “Of pregnant ladies” “Who just got that way!”
“Of a morning or an evening” “Are coming this way”
“Without prenatal care” “Or phones” “& They are
flush & want our food” “They are full of milk”
“& Powers!” “Traffic lights” “Do something”
“New” “& Casanova-style!” “Public fountains”
“Make big loops!” “A parade of icebergs”
“Iceberg inhabitants & floes” “The color of iris gin”
“Are coming this way!” “We cannot” “Tame”
“Or comprehend them” “Things both hot & cold”
“Cometh Louisiana and American black” “bears!”
“Cometh gnatcatchers” “Jaguars” “San Joaquin kit fox”
“& On our city balconies” “Are modish eyes peel”
“It is” “The liberation” “Or conquest”
“Our friends” “Have found” “Maracas” “Triangles”
“Glockenspiels” “& Will not be still!” “They are beatboxing”
“& Play haunted accordion” “As if each was a” “Balkan”
“The house plants” “Go feral!” “The air is”
“So basil!” “For the horses” “We play” “Euphoniums”
“& Kiss!” “Our euphonium songs” “Go” “Like
this” “The sky is ridiculous-colored” “Monk salmon”
“Are flying” “Or the sea!” “& We are drinking”
“Drinks now” “On our city balcony” “The color of iris gin”
“& Going with it” “A lack of gravity” “At the feet”
“Beautiful shiners” “& Pecos bluenose shiners”
“Shining!” “Also grey wolves” “Have announced”
“Via lesser wolves” “They are assuredly” “Coming
this way!” “It is time” “To tell the story!”
“Of the Namib elephants” “I watched once”
“In what can only be called” “Purple rain!”

Mia Nussbaum

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Author Discusses Poems