Labor Day

Jelly for your bread and an
ostrich feather fan upon your
stinging face. Sing grace my tenor, turn your
eagle eye from my
primitive rage, the tenet that I
hate to break but broke.

Please. Plenty before and after will
eke a limbo stick for me
to master and I will master it—
enough to earn some love, to win the
race I do not want to race.

Modesty, your perfect face, it’s you
I bend for though I veer, I
strike my silver
helmet upon the devil’s
lip, ache and swing, rise and beg.
Employ my heart, its abundant meat. It
reeks for you. It does not fake.

*

Bridget Lowe is the author of At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. She lives in Kansas City.

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