The Guest Ellen at the Supper for Street People
One has to keep thinking there was some source of torment,
something that happened someplace else, unclean.
One has to keep talking in a reasonable voice
about things done, say, by a father's body
to or upon the body of Ellen, in enchantment
helpless, still by the unforgotten event
enchanted, still in the old forgotten event
a prisoner of love, filthy Ellen in her torment,
guest Ellen in the dining hall in her body,
hands beating the air in her enchantment,
sitting alone, gabbling in her garbled voice
the narrative of the spirits of the unclean.
"The Guest Ellen at the Supper for Street People" first appeared in Raritan (Summer 1987)