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The taste is strong as ever,
figs and cheese and wine.
I recall each savor;
the taste is strong as ever,
even if it will never
be quite so fresh again.
The taste is strong as ever,
figs and cheese and wine.

Obverse

Two sides of one coin
love and worry seem.
Both of them are mine:
two sides of one coin,
two links in one chain,
left/right of one brain?
Two sides of one coin
love and worry seem.

Metamorphosis

Why does transformation
sneak up on us so?
In life, not just narration,
why does transformation
creep up—yes, in slow motion,
inexorably, though?
Why does transformation
sneak up on us so?

Technology

Where are worry beads
now people have cell phones
clamped against their heads?
Where are worry beads?
Ancient human needs,
new millennium;
where are worry beads?
People have cell phones.

Fortress

Before we reach the top,
street sounds fade away.
Many steep steps up
before we reach the top;
just when did they stop?
Silence; scalding sky.
Before we reach the top,
street sounds fade away.

Dactylic

Tino's counting on his fingers.
Syllables and rhyme;
a faint Sapphic cadence lingers.
Tino's counting on his fingers.
Generations of singers
keeping, conquering time.
Tino's counting on his fingers;
syllables and rhyme.
Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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