Wanted As Handled
I as Leda loved you,
we had read the myth,
with indecorum. With art,
censorial authentic fat
untested pawn toughish unity
seemly heroicity merry smack
attacked, attached. Leda—
the stealth and unwashed date.
The feeling of picking up
Leda by your beak, that kind of weight,
imagined, deliriously changed,
is not unlike copying a large amount
of your words and having to remember
to paste them somewhere.
Tolstoy is in the cold of Madison Avenue, Christmas lit.
Still a scent of horses, men in ties, a marble intensity.
Pigeons come too close,
scatter wind off the wing
I need to go a day without eating
something with Santa’s face on the wrapper.
Five pallbearers dump water
from lily bouquets on to the curb’s snow.
My suitcase rolls past the hearse and their laughter.
That otherworldly fear, in the way Nietzsche
means otherworldly, simply not being here.
This block’s under construction,
under hoarfrost and a ledge
that protects with a shadow.
Underground, a woman taps me and says, “Let’s go.”
I don’t know her or her fur turban.
She moves my suitcase to the turnstile
and pays for my way in.
She thinks I’m a visitor.
She can see the motherless aura I possess.
Neither is true. Yes they are.
Art by Evie Lovett
Lauren Hilger received a BA from New York University and an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of LADY BE GOOD (CCM.) Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow in poetry from the MacDowell Colony, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, and West Branch.