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“My wall with eyes of stones . . .”

by Elana Bell

after André Breton

My wall with eyes of stones With stones that multiply like babies teeth My wall with the teeth of folded paper scraps With the teeth of rusted keys My wall with the tongue of a church bell With the tongue of a crazed fish who’s lost its mother My wall with a tongue of loss My wall with eyelashes of the first grass after winter With brows of an excavated copper bowl My wall with brows of rain clouds passing And with the arms of an octopus in heat My wall with the arms of a field of stripped olive trees With the shoulders of a reckless whale My wall with the shoulders of a tired cannonball My wall with the spine of an insatiable god With the spine of a wartime slogan Spine of a receding wave With the skin of barnacles clinging to the rock With the skin of an untouched dune The skin of an elephant after battle My wall with the belly of a Roman emperor With the belly of the Holy Virgin With the belly of a moon hidden by the storm My wall with the breasts of an aging wolf With the breasts of a diamond mine My wall with breasts of a burst pomegranate With the sex of a drunken general With the sex of a hive of angry bees With the sex of a dandelion My wall with the hips of a grandmother bent over the tobacco plant With the hips of a wandering goat My wall with hips that shake and circle and  plunder  after  the  men  have  gone  to  bed


Elana Bell is featured in AGNI’s Emerging Poets Interview Series. Her first collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones, was chosen by Fanny Howe for the 2011 Walt Whitman Award and published by Louisiana State University Press in 2012. Her work has recently appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, CALYX Journal, and elsewhere. She has led creative writing workshops for women in prison, for educators, for high school students in Israel, Palestine, and throughout the five boroughs of New York City, as well as for the pioneering peace building and leadership organization Seeds of Peace. She is writer-in-residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters and poetry editor of Jewish Journal. She lives in Brooklyn and can be found at (1/2013)

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