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The Good Provider

Sarah Gambito
The best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact.
My mother took my heart out.  She banked it on top of her stove.
It glowed white.  She put it back in my chest.

Tita knew that overseas workers often had affairs.
He licked me and I pretended it pinged through my body like a swift idea
That I wrote about and considered like a bell of good craftsmanship.
She also knew that their kids ate better

He said your belly is like a cat's.
He said with his bowl up to his chin
More please.

At night the fireflies come out.  They flock to my window.
I put my hands up against the screen.
I think how fragile it is to be inside a house.
They say I want permission

I paint my face.  I say—just take it.
Easy.  If equally matched, we can offer battle.
If unequal in any way, we can flee from him.

Deprived of their father while sustained by his wages.
I thought a lot about walking around at night.
By myself.  Just to think.  But I never did.
I thought I could just flick a switch.

When I was born, my mother and father gave me a gardenia like personal star.
Don't you hate it when someone apologizes all the time?
It's like they are not even sorry.

From Delivered by Sarah Gambito. Copyright © 2009 by Sarah Gambito. Reprinted by Persea Books. All rights reserved.

From Delivered by Sarah Gambito. Copyright © 2009 by Sarah Gambito. Reprinted by Persea Books. All rights reserved.

Sarah Gambito

by this poet

poem

I had a canoe that took me into the forest I read about. It was fleet and I asked no questions. I saw the careless embroidery of the sky above me. I was small. I was embracing. And I was dear all my life. My instrument is silent. I never learned to play. But it sits poised in my arms like an amber deer that I'll

poem
I want to lick someone 

with an antelope for a head.

A whole-person-boxer for a fist.

Circulatory, fruited over 

nostalgia to overcome me like

a truck I'll drive over his body 

while he reaches for a 

telephonic breast.  The way gods 

do when they create 

the first animal cracker

steams of existence.
poem
I'm looking for the good robin of everlasting sewing.

Easy as a bed to bed.

And his words are mints.

My shock in the ghost of the guest of my boyfriend.

First there is the Father.

He would not like me to tell you about him.

He is punching holes right now.  Saying petit, petit, petit.

Garbled—he can seem