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Corydon & Alexis, Redux

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and yet we think that song outlasts us all: wrecked devotion
the wept face of desire, a kind of   savage caring that reseeds itself
      and grows in clusters

oh, you who are young, consider how quickly the body deranges itself
how time, the cruel banker, forecloses us to snowdrifts white
      as god’s own ribs


what else but to linger in the slight shade of those sapling branches
yearning for that vernal beau.   for don’t birds covet the seeds of the
      honey locust
and doesn’t the ewe have a nose for wet filaree and slender oats
      foraged in the meadow
kit foxes crave the blacktailed hare: how this longing grabs me
      by the nape


guess I figured to be done with desire, if   I could write it out
dispense with any evidence, the way one burns a pile of   twigs
      and brush

what was his name?   I’d ask myself, that guy with the sideburns
      and charming smile
the one I hoped that, as from a sip of   hemlock, I’d expire with him
      on my tongue


silly poet, silly man: thought I could master nature like a misguided
      preacher
as if   banishing love is a fix.   as if the stars go out when we shut our
      sleepy eyes


                                                                               For Haines Eason

“corydon & alexis, redux” first appeared in Poetry Magazine. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: Poetry Magazine (Poetry Foundation, 2006)

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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Corydon & Alexis, Redux

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