Joan Larkin

Square of Beveled Glass
January 6, 2014 Larkin Joan

Square of Beveled Glass


Hag––first thought.

I can’t be tender.


On my left face, in bathroom light,

a climbing-rope of flesh, next


to a seam.  Its knife-sharp sister

cut in clay on the right.  The two


bracket a frown.  Beads edge

my scalp––more rope inside the skin.


Eyes deep, under dark smears.

Tongue thrust out, a gargoyle joke.


Don’t wag that sick thing.                                 

For once, I can’t see


regrets night tosses up.

Only a face-shaped question mark.

Joan Larkin is the author of six collections, including Blue Hanuman and My Body: New and Selected Poems (Hanging Loose). She co-founded Out & Out Books during the ’70s feminist literary explosion, co-edited four anthologies, including Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time, and has been a lifelong teacher. Her honors include the Shelley Memorial Award, the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, and NEA and Lambda awards.