UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
LYN LIFSHIN

Every day some people are going home to see who is dying

my graduate school office mate
with her father and grandfather
alone in a big Victorian said,
“I never know who’ll be living,
who’ll be dead when I come
home.” For weeks, small girls
in pink pajamas are dying in
wrecked trail under a heavy
pervert’s garlic stinking breath
or hog tied behind a rusty pick up.
Death shall have dominion Thomas
said but lately it’s the main thing
on TV. The line between the living
and dead keeps moving. What
does it mean when you start to
read the obits? Every morning the
ambulances streak by the park
I walk thru. Someone tells
me “lost at war” is easier to live
with than certainty of death. When
Arthur Miller died, who didn’t
think of Marilyn going before him,
staying beautiful in our minds
as those who linger won’t


They were paining

she said, all
the rain of terror

after the TV
there was nothing

no absinthe, no
green fancy

to stop what
scratches

Bodies were numb.
Some imagined the

soul talking,
squeezed uncomfortably

behind the heart
as unable to sleep


Just out from Lyn Lifshin: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MYYEAR WITH RUFFIAN,
Texas Review Press. Coming JUNE: ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME.
She has over 120 books & edited 4 anthologies.

Her last two Black Sparrow books, COLD COMFORT and BEFORE IT’S LIGHT
won Paterson Review Awards and Black Sparrow at David Godine will publish
ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME. New also: IN MIRRORS, AN
UNFINISHED STORY, THE DAUGHTER I DON’T HAVE, SHE WAS FOUND
TREADING WATER

Her website: www.lynlifshin.com







© 2006 Underground Voices