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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, April 26, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This poem is from a chapbook I just finished called Snakes, which should be out from Tungsten Press soon. The poem is about despair and the chapbook is about evil. For a long time, I have been obsessed with the language of political speech, particularly oration, and how it relates to the language poets use to represent their times.”
—Dorothea Lasky

Promised Years

I would tell her
Except she wouldn't care
I'd write him
Except he'd never write me back
There is a rat they left hanging
I'd save it
Except it's dead
What is the force that swirls me
I asked of the wind
There was no reply
It was beyond me
And I was floating in it
Circles and circles
I've seen them throughout my life
I tried to answer them
They bled their mouths on me
Call me call me I begged of the moon
It did not listen
It had left me alone
So many years ago
And as the world collapsed
I mouthed the empty rhetoric of my time period
Call me call me
I begged of the wind

Copyright © 2017 by Dorothea Lasky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Dorothea Lasky. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 26, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky

Born on March 27, 1978, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dorothea Lasky received her BA from Washington University.

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You thought I’d flipped the switch and I hadn’t
You thought I’d left the window open
And I wouldn’t
You thought I’d turn the dial up
But I didn’t
You thought I’d ring the sun the super
But I shouldn’t
You thought I’d unlock the beehive
But I wouldn’t
You thought I’d sing