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Published: Fri Jul 1 2005
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood

Because in those days there were no words
for such things I took handfuls of vitamins and slept
with a trumpet flower under my pillow, I ate
at the Kiev on Second Avenue at four every morning:
enormous boiled potato pierogis shivering in pools
of butter, little sides of sautéed onions, paper cups of pure
sour cream, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray, no ice, as chaser,

but now when the call comes I’m sitting in the kitchen
with two plastic funnels over my breasts and the pump
on the counter with its hydraulic suck and the cast iron
sputtering of eggs, the kids already bickering at table,
milk flowing into baby bottles, even now the word
heroin makes me feel the lovely way
a body can go slack from inside out.

Rynn Williams is the author of Adonis Garage, which was the recipient of the 2004 Prairie Schooner Book Award for Poetry and will be published in the fall of 2005 by the University of Nebraska Press. Her poems have appeared in The Nation, Field, The Massachusetts Review, and Puerto del Sol, among other magazines. The recipient of a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, she lives in Brooklyn. (updated 7/2005)

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