Passport Application

Maryann Corbett

Prove to you who I am?
You ask as if I’d know.
This ID shot, slapped down
indefinite years ago?
If it’s all a matter of Matter,
no cell of me, no atom
of this old face is the same
as that; if Form, the former
has rather more than the latter.
And look: a different name
than the birth certificate shows,
stamped in a stiffer time
by the force of love and laws.
So in a sense I’m a scam.
The flimflam woman who
once played seductress, vixen,
wetnurse and char is now
a Being no being knows.
Yet you sweep a clerical eye
in a swipe like a squeegee blade
across uncertainty
and Bureaucracy’s awful shade
withdraws, clutching its fee.

Maryann Corbett

Maryann Corbett lives in St. Paul, Min ne sota, and works for the Min ne sota legislature. Her book Breath Con trol is just out from David Robert Books. Her work has ap peared in many journals in print and online, as well as in several anthologies. Her poems have been short listed for Best of the Net, the Morton Marr Prize competition, and the Able Muse Book Prize and have won the Lyric Memorial Award and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize.


Prove to you who I am? You ask as if I’d know. This ID shot, slapped down indefinite years ago? If it’s all a matter of Matter, no cell of me, no atom of this old face is the same as that; if Form, the former has rather more than the latter. And look: a …

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