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Requiem for a Millennium

by Willa Carroll


What are these spirits that inhabit our bodies trying to tell us? —Kazuo Ohno, Butoh dancer

Ghost clown in drag,
skin greased white, sheds
his mother’s kimono,

swims sinuous limbs
in glacial striptease,
mouth a red river,

nonagenarian hands
conducting isotopes,
body a spectral

tango, a shivering
amphibian, blown
toward footlights

of the millennium,
as he throws roses
back into the ocean of us.

 

Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works, September 2018). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Consequence, Green Mountains Review, LARB Quarterly Journal, Tin House, and elsewhere. A finalist for the Georgia Poetry Prize, she won Narrative’s Third Annual Poetry Contest and Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City. (4/2018)


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