By Alice Notley

None of it’s there that you cared for, so familiar
furniture and paintings. The medals aren’t there either
I’m still there but it isn’t; I’m here; sword,
I have sword?—?imagine?—?and disguising protect-
ive the ancient helmet. Her head was cut off
nonetheless. The man brought the head along
to the doctor: the head said to. Shouldn’t we
bring the body I asked in case he wants to re-
attach them Oh, the head hadn’t thought of that.

What do you have instead of a body, there?
We have a wholeness of perception what we are
asking you to do for us, write down our poems
creates a body. Otherwise our body … isn’t
that we aren’t sensuous … but we decohere,
you must understand that the universe
is always developing or changing its face?—?
body?—?whatever; we have always been it
but it’s never quite right … pilot’s license;

my pilot’s license is a fossil, you said. We
need yours. We need your license.

When Momma first, the very first hallucination
that the decompression tube in her stomach was black … ???
It isn’t black I said over the phone well I thought
it was she said, not being fanciful, and I
was in a motel in Colorado at the time. Whose head
was it really I repeat. For we never leave here
and nothing fossilizes but stonelike mossy
patterns might be made, colors transformed

walk to the hospital, everyone’s mad at me, who cares?
It was my whole soul transported and all its certainties
that I existed, beneath all the legends, otherwise
as joy.

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