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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise Duhamel
Denise Duhamel
Born in 1961, Denise Duhamel is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry...
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FURTHER READING
Related Prose
Poetic Form: Pantoum
Other Pantoums
Iva's Pantoum
by Marilyn Hacker
Parent's Pantoum
by Carolyn Kizer
September Elegies
by Randall Mann
Stillbirth
by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
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Lawless Pantoum

 
by Denise Duhamel

Men are legally allowed to have sex with animals,
as long as the animals are female.
Having sexual relations with a male animal
is taboo and punishable by death.

As long as the fish are female
saleswomen in tropical fish stores are allowed to go topless.
Adultery is punishable by death
as long as the betrayed woman uses her bare hands to kill her husband.

Saleswomen in tropical fish stores are allowed to go topless,
but the gynecologist must only look at a woman’s genitals in a mirror.
The woman uses her bare hands to kill her husband,
then his dead genitals must be covered with a brick.   

The gynecologist must only look at a woman’s genitals in a mirror
and never look at the genitals of a corpse—
these genitals must be covered with a brick.
The penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

A look at the genitals of a corpse
will confirm that not much happens in that region after death.
The penalty for masturbation is decapitation.
It is illegal to have sex with a mother and her daughter at the same time.

To confirm what happens during sex,
a woman’s mother must be in the room to witness her daughter’s deflowering,
though it is illegal to have sex with a mother and her daughter at the same time.
It is legal to sell condoms from vending machines as long as

a woman’s mother is in the room to witness her daughter’s deflowering.
Men are legally allowed to have sex with animals—
why it’s even legal to sell condoms from vending machines, as long as
everyone’s having sexual relations with a male animal.






From Two and Two: Poems, by Denise Duhamel, © 2005. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
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