Elizabeth Scanlon

  • WHOLE

 

  • The tissues taken, do you resent them,
  • and which, the takers or the things,
  • the wisdom teeth, the placenta, the hanks of hair—
  • a small part does, some scab of soul
  • wishes to be whole as a wolf in the woods. 
  • Those drabs were mine.
  •                  I understand 
  • the hoarder, the bag lady, the Lear 
  • limping along in a big-box store, 
  • even as I look away—
  • there’s shame in wanting. 
  • It’s such a fucking mess. How do we 
  • unlearn the drive for more?
  • We’ve never not loved excess.

ELIZABETH SCANLON is the Editor of The American Poetry Review. She is the author of Lonesome Gnosis, The Brain Is Not the United States/The Brain Is the Ocean, and Odd Regard. She is a Pushcart Prize winner and her poems have appeared in many magazines including Boston Review, Ploughshares, Colorado Review, and Crazyhorse. She lives in Philadelphia.


Issue Three
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