Two Poems by Monica Ferrell on Strange Hours in the City

Monica Ferrell

 
 
PROVISION

For a long time I fed the children
From that inexhaustible larder
Money offers

But with the stores depleted
It now appears there’s only one well
Here that never runs dry,

Just one bulb in this house
That never goes out
Even in the hoarse, bluey

Hour when dawn spreads
Toward the horizon’s
Bald patch of trees,

When my earliest chorister
Leaps in the crib
And begins her orisons

Reaching out for this flawed
And dotted coastline
On which she’ll press her lips

To drink not milk
But time through a dark
Nipple.

THE HOUR BETWEEN DOG AND WOLF

Is it just me or is this wine
Terribly bitter
Which I’ll drink anyway
To dissolve the bad

Aspirin of day
That did nothing for any headache,
Merely scratched at my throat like chalk.
The weather has turned.

Lately the dead spoil
In a van outside the morgue,
Filling the air with rumors
Thick enough the neighbors complain,

While an inmate cuts out holes
For a stranger in an island where no one goes.
We’ll have to devise a new method
Of weighting bodies down with stones

So they can’t return
Asking the same unanswerable
Question of us who failed
Them, yet keep going in this world.


Monica Ferrell is the author of three books of poetry and fiction, most recently You Darling Thing (FourWay, 2018), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award and Believer Book Award in Poetry.

Graphic by Bianca Ibarlucea

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