The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Renée Ashley

from Her Book of Difficulties

 

[When the sliding] door opened she'd hoped he'd come through He did not but--surprise!--another did Two women beneath the spirit trees and the speaker turned quickly away her dazzle shot played But it was enough (A son looked just like that one but not in the deep just in the shallow He did not have the mercy Had the small woman's small eyes though and interesting he should take her the way Her own kind come back at her She sees it and knows there are more shosts to come Something to that future tense)

 

 

Renée Ashley

from Her Book of Difficulties

 

[Still she would] measure her sorrow A penchant for plotting the distance between This is how she learns absolute and how she fails to unlearn The one crow on the roof peak is insignificant and the one cowed born of unsuitable others The one shot The one who would live on the sea Easy to reckon up The one and the one and the one But the ghost is hers It has no number has perhaps left the anteroom by choice No surprise She would do the same But she repeats I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry as though she believes I'm sorry has turned out to be her name

 

 

 

RENÉE ASHLEY is the author of six volumes of poetry: most recently, The View from the Body (Black Lawrence Press) and Because I Am the Shore I Want to Be the Sea (Subito Book Prize, University of ColoradoBoulder). She has received fellowships in both poetry and prose from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment of the Arts. A portion of her poem, “First Book of the Moon,” is included in a permanent installation by the artist Larry Kirkland in Penn Station, NYC.  Ashley teaches in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 

 

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