Ben Lerner

The New York Review of Books - - Contents -

Poem

Now that noth­ing has been done Be­fore, you can speak of the stigma style and ovary

Fourth whorl of the flower

You can run your tongue

Along the lips of the sleep­ing No one has touched

Your hair, de­scribed the fall of it Now you can smoke

In­doors, around your daugh­ters Win­dows open to spring

Nights that flare up in win­ter

Words like trans­par­ent

Shells at­tached to the elms maples and ash

I hear the peo­ple

Be­cause tonight is re­cy­cling Pick­ing through glass

As I write you, slow pour of metal Into the mold, my speech di­rect Be­cause re­cy­cled

The pro­hi­bi­tion against

Feel­ing bro­ken like bread

Above the sill, an in­fe­rior mi­rage Above their heads, minute gaps Im­pulses pass through, blue sparks rise in the dark Fourth wall of the flower

Splits at ma­tu­rity, re­leases Sen­ti­ment, fol­li­cle fruit of it, soft Space be­tween bones of the skull Where dreams are knit­ting Del­i­cate fal­la­cies, now that bees The coral and ice, white

Noses of bats, it’s time

To write the first poem in English Each line the last, small rain turn­ing glass

—Ben Lerner

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