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Stanza

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Because in medieval Italian it meant “room”
I tied the curtains at their elbows with
what could have been honor cords or worse
yet, a belt from the 60s, so hideous were the
tassels that were dancing a little tarantella
after I had propped the windows and the wind
had carried in the song the rubbing trees
were making, without any accompaniment,
mind you, from a tambourine, although the bells
of   the occasional sleigh played that part,
while I waited for the vixen and their shameless
yelping to follow the music and the cold
and the night inside where I sat half man,
half snow, to investigate my squeaking
pencil and the flapping of the bird-white page
I couldn’t seem to catch in those years when I
lugged around a frozen heart and was infatuated
with whiteness, since I had read somewhere it was
the absence of color, which could not be true
since I had once loved a pure white duck with
a white bill and feet and I had even torn its white
flesh with my teeth that were still then white,
which should have been all the proof anyone needed
to debunk our outdated theories of absence.

Source: Poetry (December 2013)

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

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Stanza

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