Lauri Ramey


Signal: bells through the kitchen
under the broom the sink

ringing all day in one a voice
napkin-rings to a fine sheen

you choose quickly per person
let rise punch down room temperature

there's an echo: covet the cold
paper curls in typewriters St. Teresa

over the meatgrinder Anne Boleyn
aches deeply at the door a pencil

sharpened with a knife Beloved
on the shopping list. The winter, no oil,

light the oven with a match
candles in milk bottles wrists under the faucet

stirring pots of steaming water on the stool
with magazines looking for warm Victorians

drunk from windows Christmastime
softly on angelbacks: instead you find

a woman cancer cryogenically preserved.
Her husband buys a new refrigerator

hides it on the porch when she dies
he covers her himself

liquid nitrogen stainless steel capsule
in the refrigerator 17 years of maintenance

paid in advance. On the next page
Auden is dead no photos

of younger men with buckthorn tea
touching handkerchiefs to his mouth

cigarette still moist dreams of Iceland
the oven smoke a hand refrigerator door

the pressure in the air hot fog
rust spreads through the kitchen ice on the lips

of a wife ashes flicked up, his cracking wrist,
she used to clean it, swung at the ice with a hammer

Lauri Ramey holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and is currently Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Luton (England). Her poetry, reviews and articles have appeared recently in Textual Practice, Wasafiri, Facture, BMa: The Sonia Sanchez Literary Review, BlackWater Review, Writing in Education and Ishmael Reed's Konch. Lauri is co-editor with Aldon Lynn Nielsen of Every Goodbye Ain't Gone, an anthology of innovative post-WWII African American poetry, forthcoming from University of Alabama Press.


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