Pair of Wastrels

posted Mar 9, 2010

With tongues pink as Pepto-Bismol,
Eyes alit by vacant distance,

Babies at the end of vines
Bob softly in the breeze.

Their minds are still attuned to alien speech;
When the mother comes, she'll need to teach them love.

With her milky smell, she will fill the place
Of the odor of empty space,

She has to lean above till she is the only sun
For those flowers to unstiffen, difficultly.

Love is a hard law to follow, my brother.
You with your wound in the thigh,

I with my sliced and oozing eyes,
Hobbling and blind, we babbled desperate things—

Nine months, and at the end of it
Was born to us a shriveled stone.

Monica Ferrell is the author of a novel, The Answer Is Always Yes, and a collection of poems, Beasts for the Chase. Her poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Tin House, Paris Review, and Fence, among other magazines and journals. A former "Discovery"/The Nation prizewinner, and Wallace Stegner Fellow, she lives in Brooklyn.

Ferrell’s poem “Venus in Furs” also appears in this issue.