Two Poems by Jennifer Bartlett


from [Husband]

for k.

now, wife, get in your little boat and row 

and row					            away

into sleep

remember, the tales insist upon including a ghost and a body of water
but since they are a translation we don't know what they insist upon

I want and want
	and this
wanting is a trap
if you tried and failed in your mission 
	little one

to which japan declines any response other than silence

so that, every gesture
	was calculated with longing

the integrity of this body is beyond doubt

we never believed for a moment that you were or could be guilty


from [Husband]


gesture(s) toward the street
	movement is toward and away
gestures to (ward) and away

these are motions that we cannot speak aloud

I cannot read you

the text is a second language

says, gestures toward the street
	looks at, looks toward, glances into

says, we make up the rules as we go along

Jennifer Bartlett was a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow. Her recent collections include Anti-Autobiography: A Chapbook Designed by Andrea Baker (Saint Elizabeth Street/Youth-in-Asia Press 2010) and (a) lullaby without any music (Chax 2011). She recently co-edited, with Sheila Black and Michael Northen, Beauty is a Verb: The New Disability Poets.

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