Sally Van Doren

Just because the mouth houses

Worry doesn’t mean that girls

Should act like flesh extending

Itself into terrified nature.


Our inert capacities startle

Even the most educated bodies.

Where dry meets cold and naked,

Breathing always arouses


A crowd and we can limit

Our suspicions to the simple

Justice that will carry us further

From trouble than our wills.


We balance inside on the slippery,

Sleeping bed of hate.



(Words in italics from Jenny Holzer’s The Living Series, 1981–1982)