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The Chase

ISSUE:  Summer 1992

From below, where he’s living with a raft pole
Against the closet, he knocks at our door
For coffee at 2 A. M. He’s tired of running
In the next world, his father chasing him down
On a horse with a blue head
And gold tail. He says the man is rigid
Like iron gone wild against the dark,
Reddened by his eyes. His hands constantly
Stripping-off pair after pair
Of yellow kid gloves, age and smoke
Made inside the mysterious mouth of summer
Remembered and forgotten, each of them in one
River of dust going four ways
At once. Is there anything in his hand,
My husband asks, not sure that listening
Is all. . . . Yes, he says,
There’s a ring, a ring of grass
He pulled out of his chest
Before my own voice began,
And he wants to give it to me;
It’s his life-death. But I won’t
Take it—if I do, I’ll die
On the spot. I’ll be useless like a kiss
In the past tense, I’ll be dissolved. . . .
Did you say, absolved, I asked? No,
But that is what I mean, again and again.


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