Poetry June 2011

Whole

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Whole industries have sprung
from nothing, from someone
broken, crying: make me whole.

My brother, having broken
a green banana in half, held
the two snapped bits

up to my mother, who held
me in 1962 in the produce
section of the A&P, and holding

me (as yet unbroken), strolled, if
briefly, from my brother, pretending
not to know him, knowing his

inmost desire to be reunited
with a time before he knew me.
The cry insists: make me whole, as

if, made, we could be remade,
as if whole were a place
to point the golden Buick toward,

as if its station did not contain
chiefly the hole, the central O
of loss and going on.

Andrea Cohen’s third collection, Kentucky Derby, was published this year. She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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