Academic journal article Field

Elba

Academic journal article Field

Elba

Article excerpt

for my sister Viola

Elba! Green like a uniform

or a hope. What

did you recite to yourself, hatted

Napoleon?

Detailed lullabies of victory,

exchanged for return?

Now you've become a plaster bust, an image

on dishcloths for tourists.

Father! Look at us:

here we are, sitting in the house

by the vineyard,

your daughters, each

born from different women.

How the guilt mounts up.

Forgiving is a tin can

you can stuff with anything.

Like Napoleon, like Waterloo.

I and I,

I and the others.

"And then, you mother took the pills - "

"And then, father told me: Go to her - "

Stories, and

stories.

It's what my sister's interested in.

While I see principles

turning the corner.

Those of yours, father, were still

coiffed, an architectonic jewel.

But mine are church gargoyles,

with gaping maws, crooked jaws,

boozing, doing drugs,

monstrosities

of power and memory and of themselves. …

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