Marilyn Kallet

Turn Back
March 8, 2015 Kallet Marilyn

Turn Back


“Intergenerational sex is a trend,” Jeannine said.
“But how many generations can we skip back?”

“That’s grotesque,” Bill spat.
He should know. Long ago, that thing

with the teen. Who gets residuals from that?
Not Jan, she’s middle-aged by now.

We can joke all we want but I was ready to
to stop the count.

Then I summoned my daughter’s wedding.
Won’t skip that.

I’m trying to articulate hunger that
hollows a person out. “Cannibalize yourself,”

Clayton Eshleman advised. If I’m already
bones, what then?

Turn back to Dante, a voice said.
he’s the one man

who asks

Marilyn Kallet is Knoxville Poet Laureate, and has published 18 books, including How Our Bodies Learned, The Love That Moves Me, and Packing Light: New and Selected Poems, Black Widow Press. She has translated Paul Eluard’s Last Love Poems and Benjamin Péret’s The Big Game. Dr. Kallet is Professor Emerita at the University of Tennessee. She leads a writing residency for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, in Auvillar, France. She has performed her poems across the United States as well as in France and Poland, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy’s “America Presents” program. Her poetry appeared recently in New Letters and is forthcoming in North American Review’s “Open Space,” and in New Voices, an anthology of contemporary voices on antisemitism.