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About this poet

Jan Beatty is the author of The Switching/Yard (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). She directs the creative writing program at Carlow University and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Sitting Nude

The torso facing east, the head nearly west,
as if she couldn't take in the sight of her
own skin and its failings, its parts spilling
onto other parts. She thought:
Nothing for once.
Too tired for fantasy.
If a body can be seen as itself and loved,
it's a wonderful thing. If the thing-ness
of the body is all, we're doomed and
broke apart: I'm offering you my breasts,
inches below the fuselage of my heart,
for whatever a short life can become.

From Red Sugar by Jan Beatty. Copyright © 2008 by Jan Beatty. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

From Red Sugar by Jan Beatty. Copyright © 2008 by Jan Beatty. Published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty is the author of The Switching/Yard (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). She directs the creative writing program at Carlow University and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

by this poet

poem

                       Banff, Alberta

The mother elk and 2 babies are sniffing
the metal handle of the bear-proof trash bin.
I remember the instructions for city people:
3 football fields of space between you &
the elk if their babies are with them.

I’m backing

poem
The thing I'll never write is the green leaf
with its rubbery-hard veins, I'll never
write the structure exposed, instead

I'll write the girl picking it up, green leaf,
her pudgy hand & her wanting it, that's it,
because she knows the sky is full

of stumbling ghosts, & she's back in the cold
room, back
poem

Lateeka's working, my favorite teller—
she's got wild nail art & fire red/
feather extensions.
In line: young guy in hi-tops w/ipod,
black blazer girl on her lunch hour.
Lateeka & I always talk hair & makeup,
she's in school for accounting.
A guy with 20-inch arms in a