Blue Screen
Julie Agoos

for Winona LaDuke

On screen the squared
grid of quiet,
site upon site,

is chased from the edge
of the round world,
the landthefts virtual
as palimpsests

of Oklahoma and Wis-
consin face
the pasts recorded in
the lecture that’s recording now:

“. . . some of whom,
some of which I knew.”
And real: “these
are my sisters, look!

that’s my family in
the windows,” fast-
forming details
like snow to the cills

mount. “These
are my people,
look how alike we are
against the whiteness,”  

cannibal of the
curtained lights
and banners some
use, leaning on desks

or leaning back
into rooms where
the work’s performed
through mediating headphones:

Look but don’t touch!
The virus arranges
that shelf, that plant,
this transcript of voices from far:

Hear but don’t ask,
yet. One day the past
may break these frames
into eight hundred verbs.
Julie Agoos is the author of four collections and a recently completed mss of poetry, Stateless. Recipient of the Yale Younger Poets award, the Grolier Poetry Prize, and the Frost Place Residency Fellowship, she is a Professor of English at Brooklyn College/CUNY where she coordinates the MFA Program in Poetry.

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