Sunday, November 29, 2009

Allison Titus

[Department of the Lost and Found]

Whatever have you come here for, the basement
of a building near the turnpike.

Discards and burglaries pile
up by early afternoon, like always,

lord over this office of our winter’s machine: the wreckage
of the ship still wedged hull-deep

in the permanent glacier. The wreckage of the ship,
a bear suit, penknife and hunting knife and so on.

Statuette of a lion given over, who knows, put it with
the statuette of the penguin.

Poor drop-in with your grief-heavy
voice, take back your map of polar drift;

take back your mechanical leg.
Poor, dear drop-in with your grief-heavy

mouth, take back your McMurdo Station, and
the solitary southernmost ATM,

and the ice-breaker breaking the harbor, day in and day out,
this muscular opera of finders keepers.

Take back your overcast biding;

                      take back your weatherproof throat.

Allison Titus is the author of Sum of Every Lost Ship (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2009) and the chapbook Instructions from the Narwhal (Bateau Press, 2007).