The National Poetry Review

Annette Oxindine


“What kind of beast would turn its life into words?”

—Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language

Fecund never wooed me
but there were many others,
those come-hither syllables
I sought out in atomic corollaries:
So did I come to live
in a ramshackle saltbox
with a forlorn whippet,
and, for my sup, bead reticules
for demoiselles, fit peregrines with jesses,
and betroth myself, sequentially,
to Sarah, Mustafa, Sebastian,
then Lien-hua, on whom I bestowed
all the steamers in my scullery
and quivers in my kit (sorry Sebastian),
having, at last, met a lass from Nantucket
who always crossed the Rubicon at piquet,
so I bartered for satin damask, a settee
and escritoire to match, and for my OED
I planed—chattering to rough-hewn—an ambry.
Then, dear reader, I wrote about her. Finis.

ANNETTE OXINDINE lives in Ohio and teaches literature at Wright State University. Her poems appear in Gulf Coast, Shenandoah, Southern Indiana Review, RHINO, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Willow Springs, and other journals.

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