[Were it but Me that gained the Height—]

By Rebecca Hazelton Rebecca Hazelton
World like a coat, silver clasps,
            ermine lined, warm with the dead inside,
rolling around in the red center—I thought

everything had a purpose—this was back when
            I still drank—and wasn’t I a special
traveler, nestled in that pocket amongst the

butterscotch candies, the matchbooks?
            Unessential but accounted for, a steady
thing to touch. World like a

morning glory, withered every
            evening, world like a bristling dog,
terrified of thunder—I can’t believe

how I believed, or how that belief
            assumed a shape around my body,
taking on the imprint of my heat,

gaining solidity. When
            anyone questioned me, I held
it forth, let them touch the sleeve—I

needed nothing. World like an
            egret, still and white on the highway
divider, world like a regret

typed out and then erased—I cannot
            hold you any closer without
everyone seeing, I cannot

hold you at all, it seems, your
            evergreens, your curling potato vine;
it’s all too much much, and I a bit of

goosedown, a thistle fluff, naked and
            hatless, unaccounted for and extra,
the world like a world like a world.

Rebecca Hazelton, “[Were it but Me that gained the Height—]” from Fair Copy. Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Hazelton. Reprinted by permission of The Ohio State University Press.

Source: Fair Copy (The Ohio State University Press, 2012)

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Poet Rebecca Hazelton

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Life Choices, The Body, The Mind, Nature

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Tercet

 Rebecca  Hazelton


Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy (2012), winner of the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry, and Vow (2013), from Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She was the 2010-11 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Creative Writing Institute; and winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review 2012 poetry contest. Hazelton's poems have appeared in AGNI, the Southern . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, The Body, The Mind, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Tercet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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