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A Girl Ago

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No feeding on wisteria. No pitch-burner traipsing
In the nettled woods. No milk in metal cylinders, no
Buttering. No making small contusions on the page
But saying nothing no one has not said before.
No milkweed blown across your pony-coat, no burrs.
No scent of juniper on your Jacobean mouth. No crush
Of ink or injury, no lacerating wish.
                                                      Extinguish me from this.
I was sixteen for twenty years. By September I will be a ghost
And flickering in unison with all the other fireflies in Appalachia,
Blinking in the swarm of it, and all at once, above
And on a bare branch in a shepherd's sky.    No Dove.
                                                       There is no thou to speak of.

Lucie Brock-Broido, "A Girl Ago" from Stay, Illusion. Copyright © 2013 by Lucie Brock-Broido.  Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Published with arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.
Source: Stay, Illusion (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013)
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A Girl Ago

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