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April 13, 2010

by Monica Raymond

You were a fever but I wrung you out.
A fever’s operatic as a boat
rocked on high waves,
a liner, say. Plates slide,
and we catch egg-shaped
goblets in mid-air, and the captain’s daughter
barfs over the side,
but we tough ones ride it out,
even light up with a world-weary

snap, pickle ourselves more deeply
in gin or grain, unchangeable
as barreled herring,
cigar store Indian, those tanned while
still in the skin.
That would be, I suppose, a way of becoming
Though actually I feel more like a husked
a peeled grape, flayed like when
taking sunburn off—

wafer by fried wafer, scurf. Naked, the
air stinging
with the hurt that is health.

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Monica Raymond won the Castillo Prize in political theater for her play The Owl Girl, which is about two families in an unnamed Middle Eastern country who both have keys to the same house. She was a Jerome Fellow for 2008-09 at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, among many other honors and awards. Her poetry has been published in the Colorado Review, the Iowa Review, and the Village Voice, and her work has been selected for publication by every pair of qarrtsiluni editors for eleven issues in a row now.

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  1. April 14, 2010 at 4:35 am

    I love this. Richly evocative, fireworks of feelings and images. But actually what I like best of all is the last lines: “Naked, the
    air stinging
    with the hurt that is health.”
    One of those that make you think: that’s exactly what i’ve always felt, but never been able to express.
    Long may you keep on publishing this terrific writer!

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