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This is Jacket 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine

Joanna Smith Rakoff

Two poems

Victorian Fragment

And yet we were after transformation
in any and all of its guises. The lace cuff

dangled ever so rudely after your lover’s removal.
It was French. Like all good things

were Spanish — the red flower in your hair
signifying an alignment with the wise

and quite possibly savage peoples
who produce such extraordinary pottery.

Give back my kimono. Even the bed
has exhausted your long illness. The whorl

of rouge and mustard stains? Residue
from the spices we used to ascertain the cure.

Self-Portrait as Pre-Raphaelite Photograph

Imagine your breath congealing
silver. Imagine the chemic

behind your glow. We are not always wanting
to be touched. My brain doubles, deposits its other

self at the base of my neck. I am more than body —
the atmosphere around me — not Ophelia but

the water of her silt-clogged death — low trees,
wild trim on the riverbank. This hair,

abundant thistle, each thread an ion in
its silver carapace. Imagine stitching

your gown medieval, the details of stillness —
an hour in the shutter, in the water — viscous rush

of silver, vapor of my home.

J A C K E T # 14   and   S A L T # 13   Contents page
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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with SALT magazine,
an international journal of poetry and poetics, edited by John Kinsella
PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham, Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX United Kingdom ISSN 1324-7131

This material is copyright © Joanna Smith Rakoff
and Jacket magazine and SALT magazine 2001
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