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The Terrorist Doll from Chiapas

in the French museumis ski-masked—her blacks crackle and drag—
holds a thick wooden stick, alone in her case.
 
Only her eyes show, and that seam of red, her drawn mouth.
She is possibly already gone
 
while in the Alternative London Room, the punk dolls
are so luckythey have sisters, they wear matching Mohawks,
 
the same fake chains looped around their leather pants and
I hear The Clash who are not playing anywhere here
 
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard you boys and girls—
 
No flash cameras allowed in this museumthe dolls might blink?
and so I walk on to Bebe en tissu de la Louisiane,
 
to look for my souvenir baby, my one remembered, my one held too close.
Louisiana, I think, yes, home, write that down.
 
Where is Baby Never Born? Where is Baby Shaken
Too Hard Inside My Body? Where is Baby
 
Third Baby Not Happening Baby? Where is baby miscarried
baby over  stillborn baby? Where is the baby not lost—
 
as if we left her  out in the yard overnight,
as if she sunk alone into gravel and mud?
 
 
 

Nicole Cooley's most recent book is Breach, a collection of poems about Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast. Her awards include The Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets for her first book, Resurrection, a Discovery/The Nation Award, an NEA, a Creative Artists fellowship from The American Antiquarian Society, and the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is currently completing a non-fiction book My Dollhouse, Myself: Miniature Histories and two new collections of poems, Mad Money andOf Marriage. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College-CUNY where she is a Professor of English.