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Lips

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What is the structure of lips
That take care of sounds,
That can scream loud and long,
That can wait and be silent?
Yesterday I was mastering words
And kissing lips lightly—
Their loving weakness
Now remains on my own
Hardworking lips,
Exacting, as if forever,
My terrible punishment.

Source: Poetry (March 2012)

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

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Lips

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