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Aperture

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Open the window and you want to fly out,
though you never actually do—

I think I see you, still there on the ledge,
where I've left you.

How pulled-awake and flung
can one life be?

Again I thought, It will end.
Again I promised and clung.

I learned there that
to cling was in my nature.

I think I see you, though you flash
quickly through the shutter.

I think I hear you, though I sleep.

Remember this as a bolero,
a finite flaring—

both the tulip tree
burning in full bloom

and the weeping silver birch.

Source: Poetry

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

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Aperture

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  • Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jennifer Tonge received an MFA from the University of Utah. Tonge’s poetry has been anthologized in Rising Phoenix (2004) and Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English (2000). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Quarterly West, Poetry, Ploughshares, New England Review, and Bellingham Review.
     
    The recipient of fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Ucross Foundation, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Tonge has taught creative writing at the universities of Utah, Wisconsin, and Texas as well as at Butler University. She has served as poetry editor of Quarterly West, as president of Writers@Work, on the board of City Art, and as associate editor at Dawn Marano and Associates.

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