He was touched or he touched or

By Marianne Boruch b. 1950 Marianne Boruch
He was touched or he touched or   
she did and was, or they were   
and would. Or the room could, its   
three doors, two windows or   

the house on a slant touching,   
touched by the drift down street, cars   
pressing quick or slowing. All along   
the town touched a river, the river   

the filth falling through it. What was clean—   
a source pure as rumor—a shore   
touching lake touched by wind above,   
and below, a spring. All touch blindly

further water. That blue touching   
blacker regions in the sea so weirdly   
solitary, each to under, to every   
sideways past deeper, where nowhere.

Source: Poetry (February 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2009
 Marianne  Boruch


Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago. She is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing (2016); Cadaver, Speak (2014); The Book of Hours (2011), which won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; Grace, Fallen from (2008); and Poems: New & Selected (2004). Her memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (2011), concerns a hitchhiking trip she took in 1971. In the Blue . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women, Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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