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An Aubade

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She said what about San Francisco? Another
second chance. There would be bridges "shrouded
in fog." Streets "pregnant and glowing" with traffic.
Dawn, she didn't know, would maybe "draw near."
He said dawn draws near everywhere. She said
a city but a city close to nature. A backyard
scattered with birds he wouldn't be able to identify
and something exotic rotting. Avocadoes.
They'd play a game on the bridge, she'd lose
control of the car, he'd kick her foot away
and mash the gas pedal to the floor until she
screamed and they'd have a name for the game
and later it would be a story for their kids if
they had any kids later. But no city is close to nature.
Her body is a white slash beneath the green sheet.
Or "a sterilized instrument." Last night's wine dregs
are both "the color of the valley as it ignites"
and in fact that color. He pulls the sheets from her
again and says he'll cut their coffins from
a wazi'hcaka even if it leaves a gray jay homeless.
The lumber's astringency. Fuck guacamole.
Deep in her knots and sap. Faster and faster. Second
nature. And now a different dawn drawing near.

Source: Poetry (June 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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An Aubade

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