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About this poet

Alexandra Teague is the author of the poetry collections The Wise and Foolish Builders (Persea Books, 2015) and Mortal Geography (Persea Books, 2010), which which won the 2009 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry and the 2010 California Book Award. She is also the author of the novel The Principles Behind Flotation (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017). In 2011 she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is an associate professor in the MFA program at the University of Idaho in Moscow and an editor for Broadsided Press.

Selfie with Pomona: The Goddess of Abundance

Pulitzer Fountain, New York City
 
 
She has all the advantage. Two sculptors
for her single body. Bronze prepossession. Bare arms
muscled as if she plucked each apple in her basket, 
then scythed the reeds to weave the basket—heaping on peaches
and pearls of snow. What seasons? 
What death? She’s seamless as light. She doesn’t even need 
the fountain she’s standing on—its layercaked Christmas trees 
or summer spritzing. She’s a one-woman waterfall
of whatever. Could toss the basket on my head—see
how she leans—then fill another. She could mint money
out of bird shit. Go everywhere in mink coats
and the minks still living. What climate change? What protests? 
She doesn’t even need breath in her body. She’s her own
Roman empire. The champagne porch of the Plaza 
glassed-in now behind her. Bellinis for all
who can afford them. She’s her own 1%
chance of radiance. The drizzle we try to catch
like that girl I watched turn all of Trinity Cathedral into self
with stained glass. Self with organ, self with hymnal, with column
like she was a caryatid lost from her ceiling. I wanted to ask her:
isn’t anything sacred? Why not find a belltower and think of God 
and deformity. But how is that different? Self 
with ancient story. Space shaped like what we’re not 
can conquer all desire. Self on a memory card can conquer 
all questions. What price these smiles? These abundant 
deletions? Where’s the best light to look human?
 

Copyright © 2016 by Alexandra Teague. “Selfie with Pomona: The Goddess of Abundance” originally appeared in Pleiades. Reprinted with permission of the author. 

Copyright © 2016 by Alexandra Teague. “Selfie with Pomona: The Goddess of Abundance” originally appeared in Pleiades. Reprinted with permission of the author. 

Alexandra Teague

Alexandra Teague

Alexandra Teague is the author of the poetry collections The Wise and Foolish Builders (Persea Books, 2015) and Mortal Geography (Persea Books, 2010), which which won the 2009 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry and the 2010 California Book Award.

by this poet

poem
If the liver is the source of blood: if the liver is the source
of life: if the people live with blood, visceral, on the sidewalks; the news
ticker divining Police Kill:  the news ticker divining Supporters Shout;
poem
Man in a chicken suit, you’re the only one today 
not selling beauty: 5th Avenue star-struck with Christmas,
three-story diamonds and flocks of ballerinas pirouetting
clockworking gears as if the Industrial Revolution
were a life-sized music box of desires and we’ve just
poem
That summer, she had a student who was obsessed 
with the order of adjectives. A soldier in the South 
Vietnamese army, he had been taken prisoner when 

Saigon fell. He wanted to know why the order 
could not be altered. The sweltering city streets shook
with rockets and helicopters. The city sweltering