PLAN B PRESS Issue
Mary Ann Larkin
The following poem comes from gods & flesh,
published by Plan B Press in 2006. The manuscript for this book came
to us through a poetry contest submission. The reader told me that
even if it didn't win the contest, I ought to give this manuscript
another look. It's a reader I respect. So I listened to him and read
the manuscript and decided to publish it. The book's cover, which
Larkin insisted we use, reprints an image of a sculpture by Nancy
Webb entitled Dea Mater. This chapbook, unfortunately, has
sold out of its print run.
HOW IT WAS
We had no future,
and tenderness, its blue flower.
That’s what we had
and it wasn’t enough
and it was. Bodies
with no future shine bright.
only seed and flesh
cossetted and curved, belly
and skin and bone
on bone. We arced
in and out of ourselves,
earned no reprieve even as
in the sated crevices,
the limp arms and lidded eyes
of our exhaustion.
There was a sea.
It was summer.
It was dawn and noon and night.
It was a small white room.
It was ten days, maybe twelve.
That’s how it was.
Mary Ann Larkin is
a poet, teacher, and writer—author of six books of poems, most
recently That Deep and Steady Hum (Broadkill River Press, 2010).
Her other books are chapbooks of poetry: The Coil of the Skin,
White Clapboard, The DNA of the Heart (with her husband
Patric Pepper), A Shimmering That Goes With Us, and her Plan
B Press book, gods & flesh. Her poetry has appeared in
scores of magazines and anthologies, including America in Poetry
and Ireland in Poetry, the art and poetry series published
by Harry N. Abrams,and Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington,
DC, published by Plan B Press. She has earned her living as a writer,
fundraiser and teacher, most recently at Howard University in Washington,
DC where she lives. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
in Volume 11, Number 3, Summer 2010.
read more by this author:
Ann Larkin: DC Places Issue
Mary Ann Larkin: