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She Cuts Down the Lakes So They Appear Straight

Lucy Biederman

Her “at market.”

Her with a falcon on her shoulder

ordering the neighborhood boys

off her property.

Her smiling prim as

a Friends of the Museum brochure.

Her receiving a new sound

system on Christmas Eve.

She walks in my sleep into her life. She writes

to say:

“In her neck are the worms

that slide to the sidewalk

after a thunderstorm. They lie

around and see what they

can get.

“Something, something.

“… and every mile my car goes

is another mile away from her.”

Her with a bitter look skinning

a carrot at her kitchen

“island.” Her in a nightgown,

smelling expensive,

floating around wiping dust.

Her and the falcon turning

their force-field faces toward her spouse

when he picks her up from work.

Their sleek car speeds toward

green. The fancy night

scatters its favors


Her hand understands

the grandstanding for attention in

the ingénue she advises; it grips

his face with the tenderness

of the falcon digging its clawed feet

into a human shoulder, and

he feels loved. She’s curated

some words about it

to drop at “supper.” Little

does she know her lipstick lies

in the blonde leather passenger seat.

It fell from her purse when she got out

to hear the visiting symphony.

It’s nothing, it’s nothing, here’s what

happens at the end: she gets it

after the concert and it’s nice

and cool from having been

in the car. The husband

plies her life with annoyances

and silly little kisses. The little poet-boy

with the bird claw sustaining his face

takes the fame and e-mails her regularly.

The horror never comes. If I lived

in this stanza I would never

sleep, I’d be so mean.

Lucy Biederman

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