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In Whose Unctions

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After Stevens

By now the snow is easing
the live nerves of the wire fence
and the firs,
                              softening the distances it falls through,
laying down a rightness,
as in the spackled whites,
the woodgrains of a room’s hush
                                                                  before music,
before a lush legato in whose unctions
the excruciations ease,
                                            as in the first
thick arrhythmics from the hardwoods
                                                                        of the late quartets,
whose dense snow of emotion,
                                                         downdrifting,
formal,
                 whose violins and cellos,
desiring the exhilarations of changes,
                                                                          turn loose an infusion
of wintry music, all sideslip and immense descent,
repetitions, evolutions
salving down into the still air,
                                                         the wound,
the listening.

Source: Poetry (February 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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In Whose Unctions

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