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Published: Tue Jul 1 2008
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.

What happens after nothing happens? Wait for the lull
with a tincture of belladonna. Coo coo and keep.

When did all the pretty girls go and get married? It’s late
and I’ve misplaced. Cuss cuss and think back on once-upon:

the molt, newskin hiss like Prosecco, combing your hair
with a comb from China. Echo and wait for turbines,

the hum of apple blossom, the hollow belly of oyster.
Coy coy and keep for covey. What happens after everything

is done happening? The ram killed by the pinprick
and the pickpocket left holding the spoon. Trouble is nesting

in my lungs—she’s met the boys, kissed around. Cut cut
and wait for coquetry. What do when all done? Done.

Let’s speak of openwork. Let’s get off your gloves, forget
to fret our enemies. Lie down and let’s send up a cloud.

CJ Evans has published poetry in journals such as Mid-American Review, American Letters & Commentary, AGNI, Cincinnati Review, and others. He is the associate poetry editor of Tin House and co-editor of the selection Satellite Convulsions: Poems from Tin House (Tin House Books, 2008). (updated 6/2010)

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