The Elephant Lady's Drawings

Original Text: 
Jen Currin, Hagiography (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2008): 24.
1We came out of the garden
2and there were brides in the trees.
3You faked a birdsong.
4I had something to say to your mother
5but the ancestors are as inconsiderate
6as they are deaf.
7To the house of sliding panels
8we rode optimistically
9side by side, downing
10the vinegary local wine.
11Our anxious friends
12had become famous.
13Some favoured men; others, women.
14They set our places at the table.
15It was like a dream of masturbation:
16you dipping the artichoke in melted butter.
17I wanted to drool
18if that was what it meant to be wild,
19but I could only comfort you
20as you comforted the wall.
21Don't close my eyes when I die.
22I want my body rubbed
23with white sand, the strongest teas
24imbibed at my grave.
25I can settle for little:
26a calmness after crying,
27honey for the throat.
28Because my list is endless--
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Jen Currin and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from her in writing.