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Book of Names.

in memory of Adrienne Rich and for my mother
 Dead lovers of our fathers possessors Of the once common but
then abandoned Names--
 Edith Gladys Theodora Pearl
Khaki-wackies leotarded hipsters-- Names given over to modest markers
Thousands of stone loaves splintering sunlight Their chiseled dates
spanning a century Influenza polio HIV Lynchings World Wars the
sputtering progress Of democracy--
 your true names waver Like heat thumbing asphalt like
history
The lives of others ...
 Eunice Clara Mae
Who charged with rage these out-of-fashion names Your Dawns and Chelseas
candle in sleek throats To mouth and summon if ever they pray Prudence
Vera Faith
 and you:
Dorothy
 


MICHAEL WATERS' recent books include Gospel Night (2011) and Darling Vulgarity (2006), finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, from BOA Editions, as well as Contemporary American Poetry (2006) from Houghton Mifflin/Cengage. He teaches at Monmouth University and in the Drew University MFA Program, and lives in Ocean, NJ.
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Title Annotation:seven poems
Author:Waters, Michael
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 2014
Words:205
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