1989 “Poetry Man”

The Iowa Review - - THE IOWA REVIEW - Lisa Wells

Roused on the isth­mus di­vid­ing east­bound and west­bound, launched from the grill of an ’86 Cut­lass, wicked knot throb­bing

on my crown. I re­mem­ber the driver swerv­ing. I stood ab­so­lutely still. As­cen­sion omit­ted. That frame’s been clipped

along with the wire join­ing in­put and an­i­mal fear. It was the year I at­tempted to de­fect

to the lion en­clo­sure, stuck neck-deep in the bars the pride stirred, rose upon their haunches. 25 years they’ve stalked from shade

in my mind’s eye. What a dif­fer­ence a foot makes notes the near-death re­cidi­vist, budged to the edge

of the sub­way plat­form. When the raven­ing out of dark­ness speeds and the bad star ad­vances in the chan­nel

one eye looks in­side, one away. To step or lapse to the flesh? No one is com­ing

to slather my head in mar­garine and slip me back to my keeper’s hands.

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