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Sarah Jefferis

The Right-Tusked Dream

I gave birth to an elephant.

It parked in my womb for twenty-two months.
I have to hold on longer than the average woman.

óWhere was I a year and ten months ago and why
canít I recall that manís last name?ó

At birth, my elephant weighed two hundred pounds.
Here in Siam, wet nurses suckle them.

When a temple has to be built, girls are sent
to find the secret place.

They grip sand with their tired feet
and heels know if the ground is holy.

What is the tread like? Boys are used
for executions. The king will place a traitor

under foot of the elephant.
Remember the sacred one on the flag:

I tell him. He is right-tusked
and obedient, like his father.
Air rushes over his thin-veined ears,
and heat exhales like a car radiator.

He uses a frequency some canít hear.
But I can. I wonít tell you

what he said. Out of me, he charges
into a pile of elephant bones,

and he falls among his ancestors.

 

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