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Pacific University Ad



Who Needs Us?

A rather gloomy spring day here in Portland has us going back to an essential question, last asked by Dorianne Laux in Issue 42.


Who Needs Us?


The quiet, the bitter, the bereaved,

the going forth of us, the coming home,

the drag and pull of us, the tome and teem

and tensile greed of us, the opening

and closing of us, our eyes, in sleep,

our crematorium dreams?


The brush of us one against another,

the crumple on the couch of us,

the spring in our step, the sequestered dance

in front of the cracked mirrors of us,

our savage suffering, our wobbly ladders

of despair, the drenched seaweed green

of our tipped wineglass hearts, our wheels

and guitars, white spider bites blooming

on our many-colored skins, the din

of our nerves, our pearl onion toes

and orangey fingers, our effigies

and empty bellies, plazas

of ache and despair, our dusky faces

round as dinner plates, our bald pates,

our doubt, our clout, our bold mistakes?


Who needs the footprints of us,

the glimpse of us in a corridor of stars,

who sees the globes of our breath

before us in winter, the angels

we make in the stiff snow,

the hack and ice of us, the glide

and gleam and busted puzzle of us,

the myth and math of us,

the blue bruise and excuse of us,

who will know the magnified

magnificence of us, could there be

too many of us, the clutch and strum

and feral singing, the hush of us,

who will hear the whisker of silence

we will leave in our wake?

Dorianne Laux’s most recent collections are The Book of Men and Facts about the Moon, and she has co-authored a handbook on writing, The Poet’s Companion. Laux is also author of Awake, What We Carry, and Smoke. Recent poems appear in The American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Cerise Press, Margie, The Seattle Review, Tin House and Orion Magazine. Laux teaches poetry in the MFA Program at North Carolina State University and is founding faculty at Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program.

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Posted in From The Vault, Poetry

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