Take that whiskey bottle off the floor and stub out that cigarette on your arm. One Last Cigarette, Dockery’s second collection, is a bruising encounter with husbands, lovers and family, bodies and permanence. This is poetry with an edge; tender, harsh and bone-crafted words sifted through and pumped out of a nicotine heart, addict words, bleeding.
Take that whiskey bottle off the floor and stub out that cigarette on your arm - welcome to the love poetry of Mary Stone Dockery, winner of the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award in Poetry. One Last Cigarette, Dockery's second collection, is a bruising encounter with husbands, lovers and family, bodies and permanence. This is poetry with an edge; tender, harsh and bone-crafted words sifted through and pumped out of a nicotine heart, addict words, bleeding.
Robins without wings, grounded, headstones
engraved in the backyard stacked
and ready: Try moving from one side
of the room to the next without looking
out the window. Watch your lover
disappear. If only to see the room whole.
When you walk against the light,
you produce seventeen shadows
that all need named, each one shaped
like a bee’s mouth. You look for jaws
on doorknobs. Other words for fly.
The windows here only remember
first names: Dear home, how come
your sail slackens in the light?
We have tried to prove the haunted house
theory through electrical currents
and recordings, listened for names
murmured within white noise,
though we have eaten our fill
of radiation, and have been warmed.
Lovers have many names
and appear only in mirrors.
Light bulbs and shiny objects
concern us now, as they reflect
the hysteria of a home
draped in mosquito wings,
mouths full of beetles.