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Mornings you are the ruins of yourself,
Green calcite. Where the eyes dried,
Two black rooks lie nesting in the grooves
Worn smooth by thousands of hands
Groping toward the brilliant ocean.
Near the bottom of your hollow mouth,
Your cut tongue gathers lizard scales
Like a sunken bucket in an algal well.
Well, well. You’ve learned your lesson
This time, haven’t you? All the monks
Have died, in their single-cell caves
On the mountainside, their rice-bowls
Overturned. What you so often think
Belongs to you does not belong to you at all.


“L’Heure Vert”” from You Darling Thing. Copyright © 2018 by Monica Ferrell. Used with the permission of Four Way Books,

Monica Ferrell Born in New Delhi, India, Monica Ferrell grew up in northern New Jersey. The recipient of various fellowships and residencies, Ferrell is the winner of the “Discovery”/The Nation prize. Her second poetry book You Darling Thing was published by Four Way Books in 2018. Her first poetry book Beasts for the Chase (Sarabande Books) was selected by Jane Hirshfield as the winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and her novel The Answer Is Always Yes (The Dial Press/Random House) was named one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2008 and a Borders Original Voices Selection. A graduate of Harvard, she holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Purchase College (SUNY).

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