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Danica Colic



Remember when they fell out, or were pulled
(the terrifying string tied to the terrifying door)
then the slick cavern
in the cavern of the mouth,
the jagged, grainy end of tooth,
taste I wanted
to suckle,
of heat and copper,
the urge to put it back;

it is like that; this allegiance to place
I drag like a wake—

the sweet enameled surfaces of all the pieces lost
rattling in a jewelry box
in my mother’s dresser drawer;

myself, little tooth,
breathless in the lemon glow of that place,
the thick air after racing
to the cul-de-sac and back,

my spine against the ugly palm tree
in the heat of Orlando,
my hair dampened
by Orlando’s moisture and the sweat
of my Orlando diet—

it is all still happening:
the optimism, the humidity, the T-shirts
new, then pilling, then new, then pilling;
my mother smiling, then crying, then smiling

in a box of spacetime, in a lobe of brain
I don’t know; my tongue is searching
for the place it was.




Where is it from? A sideways aperture
invisible? That leads to you,
your neighborhood? The tamed grid,
the square, the steeple, the luminous
siding? The great pines quaking above
a cemetery where the headstones gleam,
truly gleam, as if laminated—as if
even death is fresh here, even clean,
the pines made modest, a skirt
of fresh wood chips thick around each base?

It may have been in the upper branches,
hiding, the one wild thing that wasn’t
killed. And when she pressed her whole hand
to my side, it shot like a devil
over the town, through the tunnel, into
my lungs and beat like a bird in a well.
Or is it only of myself, a chemical vapor
sure to pass, and are you in the den, are
there vacuum tracks on the carpet, are you
watching TV in a town without desire?


Danica Colic lives in Brooklyn, and is a recent graduate of the Poetry MFA program at Hunter College. She has work forthcoming in Arts & Letters and RealPoetik.
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