Issue January 26, 2011

Literary LEO 2011

POETRY — HONORABLE MENTION

Every Part of the Animal (Non-elegy)

BY RINA PERLIN

 

When I go,

 

don’t make my bones

dry-cakes or root bulbs.

 

Don’t hold onto them

as if they can press you coldly,

or kiss you brittle, or tell you how

and that all this was true.

 

Do not tell them you love them.

 

When I go, buy roses

for yourself

and break out every drop

of vino tinto.

 

Knock down my door,

and seek out any someone

who needs box of pins; Greek Palace

matchbook; songs written for wizards

by a twelve-year-old; relief.

 

Stamp my feet

with for the mind

and ship me gone, gone

where I can do more than

fertilize.

 

Make me a canvas

for queasy dreamers,

a ship of tendons, nerve

ganglia. Make me

surgical, eternal.

 

And if you need

a bundle of me, in charred

humanity, to sleep by you,

You may have my left eye

and the first of every Fall.