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August


ISSUE:  Winter 2006

 
The first one to rise on a Sunday morning,
I enter the white bathroom
trying not to think of Christ or Wallace Stevens.

It’s before dawn and the road is quiet,
even the birds are silent in the heat.

And standing on the tile floor,
I find a little nut of time
to acknowledge the cold water faucet,
with its chilled beaded surface
for cooling my wrists and cleansing my face—

and time to offer some thanks
to the electricity swirling in the light bulbs
for showing me the toothbrush and the bottle of aspirin.

I went to grammar school for Jesus
and to graduate school for Wallace Stevens.

But right now, I want to consider
only the water and the light,
always ready to flow and spark at my touch,

and beyond the wonders of this white room—
the reservoir high in the mountains,
the shore crowded with trees,

and the dynamo housed in a colossus of brick,
its bright interior, and up there,
a workman smoking alone on a catwalk.

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