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September 2011

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It keeps on happening again and it will
be forgotten again until it’s September.
We’re in the tall building paying the bill

overdue to the city for gas to fuel
our furnace. We’re thinking November
it keeps on happening again—and we’ll

need heat. Now it’s still summer, too hot until
fall to turn off the AC. Consider
that other cloudless day, paying the bill

in City Hall. It’s way too high now, still
we pay it. Look at the line, at him, her—
it keeps on happening again and it will.

Energy’s costly. We forget it can kill.
Though some of our children can’t remember,
we in the building paying the bill

look at the date, at the window sill,
think of their choice between jump and tinder.
It keeps on happening again and it will.
We’re in the tall building, paying the bill.

Source: Poetry (October 2012)

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

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September 2011

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