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Oracle, or, Utopia


They sought to erase from my face
all evidence
that I had lived

They used needles to do it. Extraction methods and plumping.

Ocean makes a slurry sound behind my head
a o sound

            It was silent as the atoms were gathering
            Then it got noisy

            Sound made the ocean make sound &

We found history on the Earth’s wrinkled face


seen a woman who rhymed with time

            does her decay
does her primordial radionuclide dress
and its disintegrating daughters
do time


when you peel off your dead skin to see the face of the world
            the already-dead go deathly pale
self is a god we walked through          I was an idiot It was a mistake
I believe something here
            What self?
I do not believe the man-made sky
            I think like a hero
            I think like a dog
I was looking for the real sky
I want more face, more mother
more atoms moving through the heart
            Get ready
I am taking man back for woman, mankind



Eleni Sikelianos

ELENI SIKELIANOS is the author, most recently, of You Animal Machine (The Golden Creek), a hybrid memoir, and The Loving Detail of the Living and Dead, poetry, both published by Coffee House Press. She has taught poetry in public schools, homeless shelters, and prisons, and currently teaches at the University of Denver.


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2016

All Issues