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“To the Aliens, Letter #4”

Book Excerpt: Star-Tent: A Triptych

To the Aliens, Letter #4

  (Bamboo thickening along the June fence line;
  legs sore after a failed swim)

Know that I know — not once did you appear angry.

Not once did you appear sinister, bulky, awkward,

ill-conceived, uncertain, filmy, reckless, ardent, restive,

imaginary, aggressive, transitive, bleary, or rooted — only

a lustrous capacity, your skin gray

but the gray of a glass of water in a dimly lit room,

how it contains and brightens it — here I am,

all that you are not. You’ve infested me

with a ruinous desire. I want you to have been made

less by your contact with me.

But it would appear you’ve become, strangely, more.

“To the Aliens, Letter #4”

Copyright © 2023 by Amie Whittemore. Excerpted from Star-Tent: A Triptych (Tolsun Books). All rights reserved. Amie Whittemore is also the author of Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press, 2018), and the forthcoming Nest of Matches (Autumn House Press, 2024). She was the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Her poems have won multiple awards, including a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Nashville Review, Smartish Pace, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She teaches English at Middle Tennessee State University, where she directs MTSU Write.

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