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The Apophatic

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How can it not be
about engine,
secret blaze behind
the wheels? How not about
this no-way-to-resist seeing
but one side or another
since the rails quite insist
& iron's so right, always
running off its own might.
How never about freightage
or the outdoor face
in the indoor light?
A yesteryear's pall
over the day at hand? Not
about the passings-by
of nailed-shut houses
& grouse setting sail
from a rusty swing?
How not me out of uniform,
out of a sleeper's berth,
bare & barely rising
atop smoke & so little air left
in the soft underbelly
that I may meet—nay, embrace—
the hello-goodbye cloud.

Source: Poetry (June 2008)

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

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The Apophatic

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