I lie a lot. My poems often start with observation—literally writing down what I see and hear—but that’s not always enough. I find that writing poetry allows me to wonder and ask questions, and that’s what I was doing in these two poems [inspired by The Dining Room], a place that was rife with material. I have become much less afraid to invent things for the sake of poetry, but it always starts with some truth.
Her Name is Sarah
When Randy drifted in for dinner with her baby
tangled in the rosary scars of her arms,
pressed against the dust of her breast,
everyone wanted to see. They softened
their eyes, their smiles, the way people do
when they look on a baby sleeping,
a baby who has not cried in two days,
a baby whose eyes ooze a thick glue,
whose lips are latched in a palsied twist.