By Mary Jo Bang
Winner of the 1996 Bakeless Literary booklet Prize for Poetry
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Extra info for Apology for want
The two of us lying in hallowed stillness, ready to receive trays of thick coffee and steamed milk, potted jams, blood red in the morning light. Page 4 I once saw a cemetery marker with a person's name followed by the word, sleeping. A knock will deliver us. The sea will be, as we left it. Page 5 The Desert On Hand Love is also fragment: the cheek of the moon's fat-boy face giving itself up to be kissed, the ingredient phrase, I can't live without you, the sum of the few words that truly invent themselvesYou are.
No one wakes here. I have known people who died violentlyin a car thrown from a mountain road in Colorado. Once on a swing, I fell from standing, Page 48 my slick shoes facing out, hands slithering over coarse rope, sky becoming earth and blister. To have come so far. The room is finished, everything touched. I'm moving toward the door, curtain of music behind me. My father continues to play although I am paradise leaving him. Page 49 No Talking No talking in the grass, only persistent scars where cheek lay to hear a sound: the distilled conversation of minute barbed legs, fiddle bow to fiddle.
1996 Competition Winners Poetry Mary Jo Bang, Apology for Want JUDGE: Edward Hirsch Fiction Katherine L. " "Where Snow Falls" was reprinted in the 1995/1996 Anthology of Magazine Verse Yearbook of American Poetry. Thanks to the many who read and commented on these poems. Especially to Lucie Brock-Broido. And Timothy Donnelly. And forever to Edward Hirsch. "Pilgrimage" is dedicated to Karen Kreutzinger. "A Goddess Shakes Spring Awake" is for Timothy Donnelly. "Like Spiders, Step by Step" is for Kymberly Taylor.
Apology for want by Mary Jo Bang