Poems by Anne Babson



I spoke their language as a philosopher.
I assumed harsh consonants accidents.
I stood in long lines at their communions.
They laid hands on. I listened bent forward.
I sat under their lectures, taking notes.
The seemed clean, free of the stain of questions.
They dressed so nicely, invited me out —
Beerhall nights where we polkaed like partners.
Oh, forgive me! I took them at their word.
“Call me but love,” I exclaimed up toward
The dark balcony, thought myself baptized,
Once more, But the baptismal font was dry.
I waited in white, their favorite color,
But their full immersion required drowning.


Findings At The Reichsta

After the fire, I pokered through white ash,
Hoping some point would prove still solid.

Preserved in a charred tin box, I found a
Bakelite doll, feathers its hula skirt.
I blew. The down departed to reveal
Factory-tooled vulva, creased, painted brown.

I dug deeper and recovered foil-wrapped
Cigars. The tinsel declared: “It’s a boy!”

After the fire, the hoses rolled again,
The balustrades and buttresses in dust,
We lumber out like the first reich, alte schule
The fleecers, the fist-fighters, the fuckers.
The constitution in cinders, we turn
Feral, butterflying our foes’ foreskins.

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American dissident poet Anne Babson’s new collection Messiah is on press and should come out this Fall. Her collection The White Trash Pantheon won the Colby H. Kullman prize. Her collection currently in stores is Polite Occasions. She wrote the libretto for the opera Lotus Lives, which has been performed in multiple cities in North America. Her play about the consequences of gun culture in America, Reenactment, was published by Review Americana. She writes and lives in New Orleans.


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