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Early Elegy: Smallpox

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The world has certified itself rid of
all but the argument: to eradicate or not
the small stock of variola frozen,
quarantined—a dormancy it has
refused, just once, for a woman behind a sterile
lens, her glass slide a clearest, most
becoming pane. How could it resist slipping
away with her, that discrete first pock?

Source: Poetry (June 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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Early Elegy: Smallpox

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