Beth Rawden



Vodka is clear like rain and

Rain is lifeblood. Clear

And lucid.

The white knight rides the white horse.

White is noticed. Thick, insistent

Television static. "White is right."

Roofies are white. With either white

Or clear deodorant, you become human.


Odorless, tasteless tablets were

Immaculate missiles he dissolved

In countless glasses of Absolut

Clear as embalming fluid I

Tipped upside down so cleanly.

My knees jerked uncontrollably



Some vehicles are white.

I was in a white Ford

Explorer parked far from the highway,

A white Nile humming.

His face was a star.


White crescent moon was my dress above my knees.

His arms were two divine plaster casts.

My thighs, icebergs melting.

White lightning, the torn roof’s stuffing.

Tips of my nails at his face, white.

My thin wrists, angels’ necks.

White breaths cold like dry ice vapor. His wide eyes,

Communion wafers. His chest, a spotlight. His hand

Over my mouth, salty styrofoam. White

Teeth toward my neck, tiny

Crosswalk stripes. Knuckles white,

Gripping his dinner of hips, clear Lucifer

Hunger going milk all over me, divine

Light breaking in devouring dark.


Absolute white efficiency, cloud of women

Nurses "Sit here . . . "

Only white and clear move.

Other colors are arrested, wound tight

With white, fed clear.


White "kit," white cotton beneath

Nativity-scene figures.

The star overhead is clear

And speaks in drips like rain.

Copyright © 2002 Beth Rawden.  All Rights Reserved.

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