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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets

Edelman, Barbara
Adirondacks, May,   p. 22

Page 22

Adirondacks, May 
Let it be night when you plunge 
on wheels through the ravenous 
forest. Bats, ecstatic, twist 
into illumined view and shoot upward; 
the lewd-faced possum trails his nude 
tail into the spotlight of your high beams. 
At the bend, there, nibbling, the doe 
bares her throat to your oncoming glare, 
holds you sideways in the gaze of her one eye 
in light, and you see that it's your own 
slow longing she's captured-in the neck, 
the tongue, in the lithe, submissive body. 
Let the trees claw at wind. The moon, 
half occluded, is your lost eye 
opening; the road's a rough tongue 
through the pubis of leaves and your tense, 
rabbit heart is the dark calling 
dark: the double blade of headlights dividing. 
Barbara Edelman 
Poet's Statement 
Something about movement, the drive, something about drive; the destination
feared and longed for that you stretch the getting-there, and in the slow
stretch of 
each moment, the getting-there is all. 
     Sometimes you drive through a wild place and wish only to be out of
the car 
and into the temperature and slow surface of it. Other times the barrier
of glass 
and power and speed makes what's out there even more astonishing and haunted.
     The event of this poem was a going-towards, through fabulous darkness,
where every eye outside me shone back my own excitement and fear. It's an
event that may never have happened, but having worked it into words, I now
remember it vividly. 

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