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After Words


ISSUE:  Spring 1995
There are words
on the edges of things,
parasitic, hungry
for meaning—

How I want them: mourn
and extinguish,
exoskeleton
and wing. . . .

I hold out my hands, murmuring
“Lent” means spring, murmuring
cracked rocks on the creekbank, slimy
with moss,

and whisper words
in incantation:
ammonia,
amnesia, memoria,
         Medusa,

but none of them summons
me. What a sweet
heap they fall into: mash
and windfall, ferment
and rot,
and not one will deliver me.

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