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This poem originally appeared in the Spring, 2013 issue of The Antioch Review.


by Hailey Leithauser

Some flim-flam grand slam, glitchy
as religion, this is, with its chronic

key-and-padlock, hit-and-missy cerebellum,
its sturm and drangish, bum-

rushed, all-thumbed cockalorum. How near,
to use the fizzle of yet another

wet-squibbed metaphor, the tepid fever spike
of a heart-junked hypochondriac

frothing for a blunted, lovestruck glint of moon,
or in a bare austerity squiring a siren

star, rats and blinder moles gathered in a dampish,
lamp-black burrow can,

tittering and stirred like weirder
choirs, rise up mindful and consider fire.


Hailey Leithauser Photo by Sandra Beasley

Hailey Leithauser Photo by Sandra Beasley

Hailey Leithauser’s Swoop (Graywolf 2013) was chosen by the Poetry Foundation as the winner of the 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award. She has new work appearing in The Cincinnati Review, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, The Yale Review, Best American Poetry 2014 and elsewhere. She lives in the MD suburbs of Washington DC where she teaches occasionally at the Bethesda Writer’s Center.





© 2014 The Antioch Review