Sally Van Doren

Sasparilla listed her laments daily.

The nerve of that whooping rock

to fly onto her chest moments

after she and Emmett were doing

the right acts with their bodies.

At the edge of transition, the ceiling

drizzled symbols of sacrifice

that wet her head. When she looked

up she knew she was not afraid

to stay on the earth. Her masseuse,

hired by Emmett to rotate her

resilient zygotes, overheard the spelled

patterns and began to hunt down

the father in the silver wrapper.

Sassy’s paralysis waned as the truth

got pushed around in the voting booth.

She dragged Emmett out of the steam

and licked his diaphragm. She carried

him with her to watch the facts burn.

Together they iced their blastulae

in the space of the nothing around them.



(Words in italics from Jenny Holzer’s Laments, 1987)