Dear knife in the shape of a mermaid, dear blood
work, dear ambiguous graph. Dear disembodied
odometer, dear thumb-knuckle, dear cervix.
Dear four-chambered thumper, dear peach, dear murmuring
fruit, peach pit, stone fruit, bloodstone. Dear weight.
Dear innocuousness, body like a metal
mermaid, dear fist and first and wrist. Dear body
in the shape of a flea market find, dear sharp
hip-bone, blade of shoulder. Dear desire
to cut, desire to hold.
Dear hold, full-up with dark limbless organs,
dear cavity, corn syrup, dear chamber—
I’ve been trying to call, dear body and knife, I have
lost the number, lost
without you, dear tangible, governable flesh.
Rosalie Moffett is the winner of a 2012 Discovery / Boston Review poetry prize. Her work has appeared in The Believer, FIELD, Tin House, AGNI and the anthology Gathered: Contemporary Quaker Poets. She recently received her MFA from Purdue University and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.