Friday, December 26, 2008

Patricia Lockwood

The Pro-Vivisection Poems

Apes, especially, will not feel a thing, and all fanned out,
will not be measurably less, like whores arrived on other sides
of wormholes minus orange-blossom perfume, split lips,

and half-moon marks in huge-pored peels, minus tall unfeeling
fruit, numb spots along a spine. Earthworms especially,
who have no arms, are happy to have them sliced away;

delimit me, say diamondbacks, and severalize me, say spotted
mice; dogs are glad to see your scalpel, glad to be wiped
clean on your sleeve. Horses are happy to be born half-horse--

near the end they remember almost nothing: how they
survived on scraps, how the air was a stepped and shining
pyramid of fish parts, how it was winter and weedy necks

were happy to be stretched over stumps, when you
appeared to them, mythical, half-seen and half-man.

Patricia Lockwood's poems have appeared in
American Letters & Commentary, Chelsea, Many Mountains Moving, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Please find her at