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Autumn In New England

ISSUE:  Autumn 1979
It would be difficult to say
when it started—the light
filling the cracks and nothing else—
as if we were hunters, not

hunted. When asked we can only
answer Yes, there’s a cure
but no disease. And Yes, there’s something
that lifts us up and lifts us up until

we hook the sun which is
through with us: no more laying on
of hands. As if the night were
moving away instead of closing in.

And just when that night claims everything,
we want it all: the horseshoes
clanging by the river, the guilty
residents of this town who emerge

from their darkened houses
one by one.
It’s the light that changes things;
ban it from your life

and what’s left? There’s the slight
green that saddles trees in winter.
There’s the insomnia that covers our heads
like a horse blanket dying

to be thrown off. And there’s the sound
of gunshot creeping furtively
back. It circles and circles,
wanting in.


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