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Ludlow

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An inch from the curse and pearled
by the evening heat       I shake
my polo neck and a cool draught
buffs my chest. What rises is
my animal aroma             the scent
of blue-ribbon stock      the sort
a starred chef would ladle from
a zinc-bottomed pan    to soften
and savor the hock he has sawn
and roasted for the diners out front
who sip at shots of pastis and gnaw
around the pits of kalamata olives.
                                                          My head
sits in his fridge: stooping for herb
butter, our eyes meet and he touches
my cotton-cold face      just as once
I stroked your cheek in a dream
you suffered in a room above the river.

Source: Poetry (June 2008)

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

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Ludlow

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