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Published: Thu Apr 15 1993
Elegy

My body given away, parts
flown to other parts—a child
receives my eyes, another
my heart, the diseased organs
remain, benign now.
In death I am waiting
for my soul to arrive
that I may divide it equally
among frightened neighbors.
In death I pursue a man
younger than my father
ever was in my life.
In death I am a mother
who disowns her children
in a market parking lot.
In death a ghost lies
under me, pregnant. In death
I unbury myself and try
to extract my soul surgically;
it will not release, will not;
I discover there is no one else
this soul wishes to be.

See what's inside AGNI 37

Martha Rhodes is the author of three collections of poems: At the Gate (Provincetown Poetry Series, 1995), Perfect Disappearance (New Issues Press, 2000), and Mother Quiet (Zoo Press, 2004). Her work has appeared in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Fence, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and many other magazines. She is director of Four Way Books and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives in New York City. (updated 6/2010)

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