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Non Redibimus

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We shall not come again, not to this wet
          and summer day, nor to the waylaid place
where you laid waste to me and I to you,
          and where we reminisced recalling who
did what to whom. We shall not come again.
          Not to the bed we thrashed nor to the memory
of the way I brushed my hair back, nights,
          nor to the air we dared to share to breathe,
or couldn’t quite. We shall not come again.
          No more, my face seen round your corner, or
your briefcase found beneath my table. We
          weren’t able, apt or sane. We shall not come
again. Nor cry nor clutch, not even once
          again. We shall not cover up in quilts
or bear the beast of one another’s guilts
          or sit in silences made saddest by
what was. We shall not come again. Because.


Source: Poetry (December 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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Non Redibimus

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  • Born in Bay City, Texas, poet and editor Jill Alexander Essbaum was educated at the University of Houston, the University of Texas, and the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest.
     
    Influenced by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Simon Armitage, and Sylvia Plath, Essbaum’s poems bring together sex, divinity, and wordplay, blithely working with received forms and displaying a nuanced attention to rhyme and meter. Speaking to this unusual combination of themes in an interview with Eratosphere, Essbaum observed, “Why the pairing of sexual and religious expression seems wrong to our post-modern American ears, I think, is because we’re all (no matter what we believe or don’t) direct inheritors of a Puritan heritage that disdains human physicality … in lieu of pursuits of the spirit alone.” In a Coldfront review of Necropolis, critic Rick Marlatt noted, “Known for their remarkable mix of eroticism and religiosity, Jill Alexander Essbaum’s poems vibrate with well-proportioned...

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