In her own words...

"Two City Mice"


This is the hour for getting back to where I'm supposed to be.
Call me, talk to me, I am yours. I am interested in what
You have to say, (if it's for me). Don't think I haven't tried
To fit the mold you've squeezed me in — after all, it isn't glass
And sizes are more realistic now. I've been away too long,

Too far, too. Not to worry. My empathy, my need for you
Is long secured. To be honest, I dote on you, I crave your talk.
You're there to keep me anchored to this life, this space I'm in
That tolerates me as I tolerate my resident mouse,

My rodent semblable, my tiny frère. "Tell me," I say to him,
"How you lived when curiosity drove me so far away,
When the phone and doorbell rang and nobody was home.
Who bought your cheese?" Oh, he would answer if he could.

Silence hears me telling him just about everything I can:
That much of what I once thought great I now repudiate;
That even though I feel some pride in what I do and did,
I am not one to overestimate achievement.

I want the chance to tell you things, the wilder the better —
Such as: how you have become my bandage and my wound;
Such as: though I cannot play you are my piano keyboard,
My spiral staircase, my prison without bars, my dot-com.

Between bouts of sublimation I stuff the airless maw
Of my malaise with wild oats harvested on the sly.
They're out of focus. Fax me now. Too late for a letter.
My mouse is not enough for me, he can't expect to be.
This is your hour. I'm waiting in this hole I occupy.


About this work

“Two City Mice” was first published in Western Humanities Review, Vol. 57, no. 1 (Spring 2003), p. 9.  It is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, A Table of Content: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2004, p. 79, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.