Venus in Furs

posted Mar 9, 2010

A dream of zebras breaks up
In the eye of morning the way the image
On a well scatters with one thrown coin.
I’ve said before, I don't mind living alone.

All night, rope-bridges, tablas, wood-
Colored things, a man with a gun
But I got rid of his body neatly
And no one knew, a locomotive

Steam and old-fashioned as Anna Karenina,
A platform, destinations on the placard
And no one knew. The man’s eyes turn
Up in the head of a hound, black pools

Infinite as the rings of Saturn. See,
Even in dreams I get the job done:
I didn’t skip a beat, walking serenely
To the train—I might have been in furs,

A stole, white, very clean—since I knew
Everything here I’d accomplished in justice
For what had been done to me,
No one any more could touch me.

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 “Pair of Wastrels” also appears in this issue.