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"The Colonel," the most oft-quoted and reprinted poem of the book is, interestingly, set in prose and the witness breaks down midpoint when the Colonel spills a sack of human ears onto the dinner table: "There is no other way to say this." Who is it that is breaking down here? Not the witness, but the poet with the burden of her U.S. aesthetics. Who is she apologizing to? First and foremost, to us, her fellow poets (or is it to her teachers and critics who will disapprove?). The opening lines of the piece are also addressed to us, I think. "What you have heard is true. I was in his house," as if a poet should not have been, as if to

answer her poet friends who warned her about this. The ears :are like dried peach halves," the poet's only simile here and one I think that undeniably authenticates her experience. We need this simile, for how many of us have had the experience? It brings the ears alive for us, just as the one dropped in the glass of water by the Colonel "came alive." And even he addresses the poet's "problem" as he performs his heinous act. "Something for your poetry, no?"