Rachel Loden


The Toy Box of My Intentions

So many of them strewn about!
Intention is what the prisoner understands

as she hurtles through Manhattan
with her jailer—

and he too, leaning on his steering wheel,
separated from his dazed and reeling captive

by a wire mesh grill, knows
his way along the shining grid of streets

just as he knows
the grander moral map of his intentions.


Did you say intention?
Intention that the wall of red-brown mud feels

as it rolls over a darkened Panabajan village,
or that a song knows

when it hears itself on television,
trying to die amidst the thousand tapping feet?


O O O O everything
happens for a reason

Elah Sh'maya V'Arah
never gives us more nails than we can scarf down

at one
fairly elegant sitting


Intention, you toy!
The boy-president plays with you

whenever, somewhere in the world,
a wedding party

is in sudden need of slaughtering;
and when the one-way holiday makers

light up their jet-fuel cigarettes
and sift down to earth in all their purity

intention smears them extravagantly
with the dust of Jews and women.


Augh, so much lovely damned intention!
When the stars come out

loose hunks of the burning stuff
fall off the mental dirigible

as it dreamily plummets down
and all the while sticky

spider-threads and ribbons tie me
up in gaily festooned packages,

packages which intention
gallantly wrestles to the ground.

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review