All the Precedents, in Order
I’ve forgotten my souvenirs.
There was something from somewhere somewhere.
Or, if a thing I think I remember I
make up, even the voice meant
to summon that other voice it spoke in.
I practice an alphabetical life.
Gingerly, pursed breath, tiptoes, awe. Please
don’t feed or annoy the animals. Twenty-
questioning one after another root
vegetable as to its trace minerals.
Dear departed, stash me
in a fanny pack and simper us through Customs.
Slip me underneath my true love’s door
to loop around invisibly in my eloquent
lemon ink cursives.
And then what happens?
Wait, wait—I almost know—a whole
room turns its faces to mine in anticipation.
I get called on in class. My hand
wasn’t up. I memorize. I recite.
Martha Zweig’s collections include Monkey Lightning (Tupelo Press, 2010), What Kind (Wesleyan University Press, 2003), Vinegar Bone (Wesleyan University Press, 1999), and Powers (l976), a chapbook from the
Vermont Arts Council. She has received Hopwood and Whiting awards. Her poems
are widely published; three were featured in Poetry. Her MFA is from Warren Wilson College.