Mark Doty
Little Mammoth

Mother’s milk in my belly

 

and a little of her shit, too,

so that I might eat

 

of the sour-green steppes

that opened endlessly

 

before me, though not long

after I slid into sunlight

 

and the grass-world I slid

again into the mudhole,

 

and screamed, and screaming

sucked clay into my trunk

 

till I lay on the bottom,

my milk-tusks not even

 

sprouted, a sweet undercoat

of fat ready for my first winter,

 

and I am still one month old,

and forty thousand years without my mother.

 
Found In Volume 40, No. 03
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Mark Doty
About the Author

Mark Doty is the author of three memoirs and twelve books of poetry, most recently Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins, 2008), which received the National Book Award; School of the Arts (2005); Source (2002); and Sweet Machine (1998).