Steven DaLuz   © 2015 All Rights Reserved

How Then Shall We Live?

     1. The Options

Escape with serial sex
or exercise, a lot.
Join while you can the Cult
of the Child. Get lit
on drugs or booze or religion
(for west-coasters, Eastern).
Play the house-trading-up game:
decorate, renovate, re-decorate,
roll again. Volunteer to bake,
or bend flower stems
in a glass bowl. Join a cabal
that hikes or reads Classics.
Divorce. Kill yourself
in a way that leaves the least mess.

2. Couldn’t She Just
                    with a line by Sylvia Plath

The options, so far, not good. Suicide?
No, perfection may not have children,
but she has three. Divorce?
No, she still loves her husband. Divest
her spousal share? See divorce, ibid.
Could it be possibly be less all-or-none
than she’d assumed? Might small acts
accumulate? Couldn’t she just—downsize?
Give stuff away? Grow something.
read more, watch less TV?
Remind herself there are other zip codes?
—love her family in situ and not
how she’d planned they’d be?
Couldn’t she just love her family?



            The solution of the problem of life is seen in the vanishing of the problem.

You lay a life-sized doll
in my arms
as I tried to hold you high
enough to keep
your heels from hitting
each tread
on the way upstairs.

It took me years to learn
the lack of utility
of this exercise. But I did,
life being
progressive and fatal
and love
its co-morbid disease.



The Cooper’s Hawk perched high in our hemlock
the week your mother died.

She was out of scale, so much so we thought eagle,
or owl. The bird book taught us our error,

and how to know her again: an eye red with rage,
wings taut in a glide

inscribing the sharp shape of ache against blue sky,
and her high cry—

kyeeer! kyeeer! kyeeer!

icicle-anguished and clear. She had a mate once, she
had a nest somewhere—near here—

Rebecca Foust
Copyright © 2015


Rebecca Foust’s most recent book, Paradise Drive, won the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry. Foust was the 2014 Dartmouth Poet in Residence and is the recipient of fellowships from the Frost Place and the MacDowell Colony. New poems are in the Hudson Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, among others.

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