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DELAWARE POETRY REVIEW
Sandra Beasley
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THE PLAYS OF LILLIPUT

They are gathering the curtains
of my hair. They are priming
the fog machine in my lap.
O brass band of my heart!
O concession stand of my knee!
O audience, shuffling to your
seats, your shoes tickling
my thigh. Tonight, the actors
tune their voices. They put on
habits. They bead up rosaries.
Who doesn’t dream of clapping
the living daylights out of
such small, obedient faces?
O dressing room shoulder!
O sound booth shoulder!
O audience. Who doesn’t dream
of the spotlight burst into flame,
and all of you running into
the safety of my open mouth?

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THE MANGROVE HOUSE

In April I lined up my best figurines
and brought the hammer down repeatedly.
I made a pile of hands, a pile of eyes:
only the mouths escaped, lipping

quietly under the bed. In May
I built a house in the root of a mangrove
and slithered in on my elbows,
weaving the door shut behind me.

They thought I needed rescuing.
They dragged me out. They sluiced vinegar
through my veins. They tied magnets
to my wrists. The doctors pronounced me

Fit as a fiddle. Now, they string me up.
They wax me down. My mother tucks me
under her chin, and I sleep. My father
plucks every hollow, and I sing.

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THE PARADE

I throw a parade of thirty reasons you shouldn’t love me.
Shut up, you say, I know what I love.
What can you know? I know
 
only that there is no constancy to this body—
I am gaseous, vapor, water and solid. I swell. I shrink.
I bloat. My heels are hardening as we speak. 
 
I run off an ounce of sweat, then gorge on bread and oil.
I claim my nails are short yet manage to claw you.
I call my hair long, but geometry dictates that strands must be
 
growing every possible length in between.
Shut up, you say. Come to bed.
Do you know that when I lay down, the loosening muscles
 
cause me to grow an inch taller?
Love, please listen to me, I am trying to help you.
Love, you are wasting these elephants and this ticker tape.

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About the Poet
Sandra Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling, selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured on Verse Daily, in journals such as 32 Poems, Blackbird, New Orleans Review, and Meridian, and in the 2005 Best New Poets. Awards for her work include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay Colony. She lives in Washington, D.C., where she received her M.F.A. from American University and serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar.