Elizabeth Swados

(1951 / New York / United States)

Focus - Poem by Elizabeth Swados

The shaking, the sleep
The shaking, the sleep
the not remembered dreams that have you waking up
like a pointer.
These days they say
they say cut down on the medicine
or add more
add this to that
we're not really sure
they say we're working on it
in laboratories, can I
lie down on a couch
in your laboratory, read
a mindless mystery about
a Midwestern serial killer
and wait?

If they can put a man on the moon
then why can't they fix . . .
and blah, blah, blah
born too early,
then pop, drip, zoom tss
too late
in the glass tube

Too later for Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln and
brother Lincoln, too late for me
on the couch with the serial killer
pushes his next victim
off a bridge in Minnesota
The detective found a shoe.

Reckless reckless clouds
floating determinedly
like submarines,
I'm waiting to explode
or be radiated, I
am being eradicated,
rewired, recircuted.
Clues tacked to
the Police Sergeant's wall
Parts of bodies. Bare locations.
This killer is smart
He leaves the paper ring
(of a cigar) on every victim's middle finger.

New medicines, new caves emerge
A hand reaches down
gets burned, reaches down
Can't reach
The serial killer pushes me.
I'm still falling.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 25, 2014

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