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tearing the rag off the bush again
Two Poems by Kate Wyer PDF E-mail


The moon gave us a bag of peanuts.

We took them in our aluminum fists.

The moon did not know us by sight,

by our flags. She spoke, Da?

We were silent.

Oh, Americans, she sighs.

Yes! we say.

Okay, well my English is better. I have a habit of confusing goodbye with you’re welcome when speaking Russian.

Why the chump change? we ask her.

Where’s the mother load, we wanna know.

The other side, lower, she says and points.

We bounce to the frozen lake.

We take our axes, our pneumatic drills, we have our Geiger--

Wait, she yells, what are your doing with those!

Nothing, we mutter and begin to drill.

You can’t have my U-238!

She breaks our blade, she threatens--

If you don’t stop, I’ll change the tides-- I’ll make every woman menstruate on the same day!

This gives us pause.

We’ve run out, we tell her.

Of water, or Uranium?

Both, we say.

Pick, you can have one.

We hear another ship land. It’s exhaust sounds foreign.


A mushroom cap pushes from your ear,

Turkish music muffled by the stem,

by the soft hair of its roots

wound around your hammer, anvil, stirrup,

the fungus blunting the echo of half-inch

heels on hall carpet,

the many hands on the knob of your door.

You take the mushroom’s dust

and blink it into the peat of your eyes.

You hope for mounds of white caps to open,

you hope to see only the screen of their gills.

You hope for a bloom on your tongue.

In your damp room, a bed,          

a lamp whose bulb

you’ve long chewed out.
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