Bruce Bond

Book of Dolls
June 20, 2019 Bond Bruce

Book of Dolls 5
The psychoanalyst has left the building
to the lost, foreclosed, secluded life,
indiscernible at night from nights
that have no evidence of life in them.
Only dolls, castaways who stare
at one another, as if each were a wall.
You want to ask where a doll ends,
the wall begins. You are not alone.
There is always a little of the living
in a corpse, a nonsense in the deference
of whispers beneath a casket and a cross.
You wave a hand over sculpted eyes,
and it does not feel like you, not you,
in the black of the glass, waving back.


Book of Dolls 10

When my mother died, an elephant came
to the family table, where my brother,
sisters, and I divided our inheritance,
and I remembered the animal as the toy
I got one Christmas, but then, my brother
said the gift was his, so too my sisters,
and with my mother’s ghost, we were all
looking at one beast, each with a different
narrative and sadness. And the toy
sat speechless. Then silently went home
with someone. I don’t remember who.
The day was far too full. With every item
laid to rest on the table, my brother said
remember this. And our faint reply, I do.

Bruce Bond is the author of thirty books including, most recently, Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave, 2019), Words Written Against the Walls of the City (LSU, 2019), Scar (Etruscan, 2020), Behemoth (New Criterion Prize, Criterion Books, 2021), The Calling (Parlor, 2021), Patmos (Juniper Prize, UMass, 2021), Liberation of Dissonance (Nicholas Shaffner Award for Literature in Music, Schaffner Press, 2022), and Invention of the Wilderness (LSU, 2022).