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March 25, 2009

no feet ever turned as your feet
the fronds of spring
parting.
i feel where the hair is gone.
the hair my mother said was aging you.
i mourn it, the way it made your inhuman eyes
seem even larger,
magnified like the waters by
the frilled dead-grass edge.

I am sorry
for not coming to you
as a wife, duty-bound.
But I am not
your wife and can’t pretend.
It is girlishness, foolishness,
shyness and fear.

A river of pain,
untapped, cool and silver
and joined
as the Allegheny, the Monongahela,
the vanishing Ohio.
Those other men, casting
shadows, bamboo poles.
Through the windows, the skittish streetlight
burning orange, then blue, choking
with the snap and whir of wings.

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