Mary Donner

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SALEM DOCKERY

 
 

Mary Donner dies a year before the Civil War. Florence Nightingale

opens a school for nurses. Wild Bill Hickok kills a bear.

 

Mary Donner gets mad one day and tries to count backwards

from 83. All the numbers are names. She isn’t mad anymore.

 

Your tinder date, queer Mary Donner, winks at you from the bar. You tremble

when she first kisses you, and later, and then when she says you taste good.

 

Mary Donner reads in the paper about the Uruguayan Air Force

Flight 571 and hums Happy birthday.

 

In the afterlife, Mary Donner bumps shoulders with Robert

Frost. She tells him his poetry is bullshit.

 

Mary Donner visited my high school to talk about eating disorders. For weeks

afterwards, the vending machines promised gold and dispensed ox bones.

 

Dominatrix Mary Donner makes her lovers boil down and eat

the leather of her whip, still dripping from the lashes.

 

When Mary Donner is about to come, she thinks of her feet

and how they crept into the fire as she slept.

 

In January of the year of Mary Donner’s birth, the first picture is taken of the moon. OK

enters the lexicon. By December, the moon is photographed again.