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The Poem Emerges


ISSUE:  Autumn 1994
The poem emerges, head opened at the mouth, mouth
  tilting
toward the air. A new Venus with skin so tight it seems
laminated. Water beads, etcetera.

Etcetera; that’s all I’m saying.
I could draw a parallel, I suppose. When I was five
I shook my tan skin blue along with Jason at the side of my
  pool.
We didn’t want to go in and our mothers swore that
never, ever
would we be allowed to take lessons again together.
I mean, what was my mother thinking? Jason had nothing
to do with it. I didn’t like cold water and I liked to
  overarch.
I wanted to be a bird, I really did.
Do you see a possible connection?
I wanted to be a bird and not a fish, and probably
that’s the difference between a poem and a poet.

More probably, I wanted to be a bird and that was all.
To target one svelte branch and pluck out leaves
with my erratic song. I did not think about fish.

For the purpose of the metaphor, then, the poem was still
 drowning.

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