This poem is meant to have the make and model
of a vehicle in it, include a food I dislike, a musical
instrument. He gave up the cello. There were multiple
mandolins on his worktable. An item that is broken
beyond repair? My body. That’s easy. This & this
& this. A love note that falls into the wrong hands?
Every poem I have ever written. Please stop posting
your thumbs-up sonogram pictures. I don’t care
if you’re 43. If you’re an exception or a miracle or
whatever you are. A bird of prey. His son was learning
to be a falconer. Are these like vultures? I’m not sure.
An item of lost clothing—this doesn’t happen often
now that I’m married. Remember those bras
that went missing in apartments, knapsacks, cars?
Bless that time: fear of conception. Holy ruckery
& whiskey & some guy. I drive the highway
in my Honda Civic to the phlebotomist, try to arrive
early to avoid the trainee who always leaves
the bloodless needle halfway in my arm, then
calls for help to the other woman who looks like
a former heroin addict or the Mennonite; both can
deftly navigate my scarred veins. Falcons are
the fastest moving creatures on earth. Your baby
this week is the size of a poppy seed, a sweet pea,
a black olive. I hate olives. In the lab, they play
Spirit FM & don’t know anything about me. The DJ
croons, ‘I am the vine & you are the branches. Those
who remain in me, & I in them, will bear much fruit.
Erika Meitner is the author of four books of poems—most recently, Copia (BOA Editions, 2014). She is currently the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is also an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she teaches in the MFA program. https://www.boaeditions.org/bookstore/copia.html