Image by Hollis Duncan

Poetry Groom XII

Isabel Duarte-Gray

if I go to heaven I want to ask
is there such thing as a tasteful lawn ornament:
how does one improve a grass rhombus
to such hue as to declare oneself
bound by contract to poison
all surrounding flora
until scott pruitt’s o-face
leaks scott peterson’s
crocodile tears

a second question I’m saving is,
when is pain real?
does it require
two persons: one to throe
and one to sign the affidavit?
is pain a compact
between one person’s body
and the willingness of anybody else
to see it 

Isabel Duarte-Gray was born in Oakland, California and raised in a trailer in Kuttawa, Kentucky. She is the author of Even Shorn (Sarabande, 2021). Duarte-Gray earned her B.A. in English and Russian from Amherst College, and her PhD from Harvard University, where she studied Latinx literature, poetry, and ecocriticism.