Emily Anderson



Miss Paper

Miss Paper and her sheer curtains.  Miss Paper and her enamel tortoise.  Miss Paper stuck in heather, waving a white hand at the sea.  Miss Paper in jeans.  Miss Paper, may I get a drink of water?   Miss Paper in her robe and slippers.  Miss Paper in flannel. Miss Paper riding a camel in Egypt.  Miss Paper buttering.   Miss Paper nestled.  Miss Paper getting nervous.  Miss Paper's dress.  Miss Paper in swimcap trimmed with daisies.  Miss Paper in a courtyard lined with broken bottles.  Wine soaking into Miss Paper, or the juice of beets on her fingers.  Miss Paper with her hands clasped, Miss Paper in flannel sheets.  Miss Paper drawing mountains on the kitchen floor; Miss Paper half in wool and half in love. Miss Paper's soft footfalls.  Miss Paper blushing as she opens the package. Miss Paper wringing her hands. Miss Paper at the dentist.  Miss Paper picking apples; Miss Paper in a heap in the hay.  Miss Paper with a cakeplate.  Miss Paper flossing.  Miss Paper's kick pleat, Miss Paper's sudden skip.  Miss Paper's reflection in a lighted window.  Miss Paper folding.  Miss Paper with a sturdy bicycle.  Miss Paper with a cut finger.  Miss Paper in a white blouse at the beach.  Miss Paper peeling the skin from chicken with her fork.  Miss Paper shaking her head.  Miss Paper picking dead skin from her lip.  Miss Paper's silver locket.  Miss Paper closing the file drawer with the heel of her burgundy loafer.  Miss Paper on safari.  Miss Paper consenting to play.  Miss Paper snapping shut the locket with her fingers. Miss Paper with a croquet mallet.  Miss Paper with a tissue.  Miss Paper waiting at the depot.  Miss Paper stringing cobwebs from cotton balls, Miss Paper with eyeliner whiskers.  Miss Paper's clear signature.  Miss Paper's confidence on the golf course.  Miss Paper's fear of spiders, her adroitness with the oars.  Miss Paper making a joke with her mouth full of apple.   Miss Paper behind us in the lilacs, Miss Paper, just a sip, please, a sip—



The Activity of Certain Arctic Insects at Low Temperatures

Arctic activity.  Dr. Helen with three sweeps of the butterfly net.  Satiety.  Slightly cooler at "night."  Cold coma the activity like death.  Three sweeps: air among the stones near the river.  An ocean nothing like ours.  Nymphs in large numbers clinging.   Agents fixed in Carnoy: Mellanby, Mellanby, Frostboden und Sonnenstrahlung.  The water was cooled by the addition of ice.  Dr. Helen I'm afraid: can we pick berries?   Dr. Helen and Dr. Kenneth on Dr. Cot.  Accurate in the arctic, abundant in the swamps.   Life was liquid fixed incarnate.  Kenneth, does the treeline supercede horizon?  Conscious and comet-like.  An ocean nothing like hours. The temperature of your home when you are away.  Rinse the flasks; thank the pagans.  Helen, just how cold are the interiors of anthills? Agonist night o, agonist void ah.  The water was cooled.  Inari was not determined accurately.  Some sand fixed in wax.  A pink egg in a flask.  Dr. Kenneth I'm afraid the threshold for flying was not determined accurately.  Dr. Kenneth I'm afraid.  Cold coma the activity like not moving.  Like growing: invagination, some breadcrumbs and summer exceeding.  Imagination and leaving. 





death dreams of a jet pack, but death is a rotary phone, a dial tone. 

hello, hello, death?

hello. yes?

yes. hello.  you are not death.

I am death. 

no, you are not death, I am death.

no, you are not death, I am death.

no, you—

I beg your pardon I have a roast to defrost.  death sounds very grown up.  like george washington, death cannot tell a lie: death hangs up and goes down to the long basement freezer.

now death's roast defrosts in death's water, in death's sink where my mother is still a tiny swimmer, doing flips and dives around the thawing, netted beef.  my grandmother softens a can of frozen apple juice by blasting hot water.  how will she roll her stockings, smush lightning bugs into the pages of reader's digest condensed?  death wonders and wonders about me and what I am like. 

death's first man walks on death's fuzz moon.  let's all watch death's tv while death is busy.  death dials and dials the operator, thinking she is me.  despite his distinctive mustache, no one, out of all death's contestants, correctly identifies salvador dali on tv—death has impressive mathematical aptitude, but I wish he'd put more effort into his essays.  death's dad’s boss puts too much salt on his food.  he cleans a bone with death's cloth napkin, uses it instead of his finger.  scratches his nose and he's still not giving out any jet packs.

she is getting tired of all the prank calls, and mad with her wooden spoon that death can't drink any apple juice; death is sleeping. 

that summer, death gets a job driving a truck, spraying.  children chase the death mist, there are no bites to scratch.  we like tv just as much as death pretends to watch tv but is really imagining me.  will we like death's girlfriend?  ask death's friends.  sometimes they worry about death.  death worries about his jet pack.

raining, death's buick is really cozy.

necking with death, I got bored and looked out at the movie.  in it, death has a mustache and a jet pack and death's waiters never catch on.  they never sweat.   another peach supreme, another peach supreme, another gray peach supreme: death forgot his wallet and death, nervous, tastes like popcorn.  is that dali?  I guess.  death's penicillins rattle in his pocket as he reaches for me through the heaped  parfait glasses. the movie is death, anemones.  death's windshield shimmers.  death may have a venereal disease, but I am powerless before death, and it doesn't even occur to me to protect myself, even though I am death's teacher and could lose my job.