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What’s Left

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How often now, raging weeping for the days
love gives then takes away, takes from you
the slightly chapped hand laid on the one
you’re pointing at a tree, and the voice
that breathes coffeeberry bush into your mouth.  
The finger that taps and feathers your ear
but the giggle’s gone before you turn around.
The sandalwood scent hanging in the room,
the auburn strand like a flaw in the porcelain,
the off-course nail clipping in the carpet.
The days eat into your stomach, knife you
with longing for relief from love
that you cannot leave or leave alone,
from its rings of fire where you won’t
burn down to ash or be transformed.
You become them, and they keep burning
and have a coffeeberry voice.
           Listen how
                     their rhymes sing
                               the little deaths you live.




Source: Poetry (April 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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What’s Left

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