Lola Haskins

where the water is soon where sunken ships are not quite gone, and a young woman lingers in her stateroom, writing the letter she began a hundred years ago     south say the white and yellow eyes, and though we will see clearly as long as we can, we have known since we were children that we will some day reach a place where headlights will not help us, and we must learn to swim


where the world ends in ice say streams of red lozenges that shine suddenly before us, then disappear like the lit eyes of animals north where we won't need to raise our voices (which we have never liked to do) and we can see our tracks until the snow closes in on us like a father's face looming over our crib,      north where we can be preserved forever, hairy and blessed, with what is in our stomachs

Script For A French Movie

    Lola Haskins
When they open his head, there's nothing there. But it's so white in here, says his wife, looking around. The surgeon's mask indents damply, and his eyes have no dots in them and she sees that he is a cartoon.

Only a cartoon, she tells herself outside, as she flips the pages of Elle. And yet. When a cartoon caresses another cartoon, then goes home and tells her husband she's leaving him, and means it and then not, and means it and then not, does he not cry? Night after night, does he not cry? And when a cartoon beats his wife, will her bones not break? And are not her teardrops grief?

When she visits his room the next morning, her husband's bandaged skull looks like an egg. When she sees that everything has been boiled out of him, No Wonder! appears in the bubble over her head. She stands beside his bed and holds his hand, which is limp as a fish. He looks away. Slowly, the bubble empties and floats gone.

Lola Haskins' most recent collection is The Rim Benders (Anhinga, 2001). Desire Lines, New and Selected Poems is forthcoming in 2004 from BOA Editions.


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