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Monica Fambrough


Highways haven’t always been this human.

They were white and secular and small.


Where is the horn that awakens the world?

It feels like a toothache, a flat note. It is a grid.

Where is the boy who looks after the sheep?


Don’t take the Williamsburg bridge.

It leads to an underground prairie.


I have absorbed a bees’ nest yellow map.

I get drunk everywhere but at the bar.


I am the Center of the Interstate System.

The Road Agent was warned by a sheep.

We’re sort of a swarm in need of a shepherd.


I am the Star of the Interstate.

I guess bees are dangerous in the fall.

How many times was he stung?


I thought Don’t they always swarm?

A Road Agent told me this is the time when they gather.


His son was stung fifty-one times.

His suffering will remain inside him.


Where is the sheep who absorbs all our suffering?


You ask me to be alive, but I am not alive.


My heart is a junction of sorts.



Les Femmes, Les Fleurs

It is morning and the women are fearless.

Some rain falls. Infants, alone in their automobiles,

roll up slowly from the mud,

and that is waking. You’re missing this.

So many women are walking by our window

with their strollers and umbrellas, brave,

though we are all without you, in the rain.


It’s morning again,

and morning requires its own motions.

Coffee cups come, follow one another, touch

to form a white spine

that shines and is empty.

Coffee cups hold. They can do so much

without even moving,

and so many objects are capable of this.

Is that enough? It is enough.


It’s raining,

and I’ve spent money already today

and will spend more tomorrow.

Money does not require enough motions.

Water is better: all motion, and it’s free.

I put new water in the vase,

and the flowers are beginning to open.

They look like umbrellas

in the slender hands

of women

in the rain.


I will let you know if it stops raining.

I’ve written so much about morning

I am still and held in sleeplessness.

The dreams I have all look the same.

The babies in their strollers,

the color of umbrellas through the rain,

the women, young and without fear,

the flowers—

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