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Sirens

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My transgressions pile against the garden wall
(built when Rome began to weaken, scarred

by a cannonball.) I gossiped; I snubbed
a dinner guest. I watch until the wall writhes

with awful feral cats fed by shrunken widows
and the odd librarian. I’ve begun to be depleted

by your absence; one of  love’s worst symptoms.
For years, I’d had the sense to hold myself apart.

I’ve been here long enough to kill
two mint plants and a lavender,

then resurrect their better part.
I’d like to let you die on the vine.

Not you, the You I Dream,
who follows through on waking.

See how the watcher sees the storm
but doesn’t get wet. Be that.

Be what?
Be wiser than the heart.

Source: Poetry (September 2013)

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

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Sirens

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