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ISSUE:  Winter 1992
You stripped and stood
in a column of light among the trees
like a lighter tree,
and I admired your incandescence,
your good form.
I lay down
on the pine needles and looked up
to where the treetops formed a ceiling
like stained glass.
When I opened my arms,
your wide chest
pressed down on me—heavy,
like waking after the weightlessness of sleep;
like a door.

A field sloped down the hill
from us, and at the bottom
a line of bathing suits flapped
between two trees, one of them dead.
A little farther, cars were parked
in a clump by the barn, not far
from the house. The screen door banged
as people came and went.
On the far side of the house,
your various relatives
talked and drank
and stroked the children’s heads.

On that day,
I wanted to enter in
through the frame of your body.
Through the trees came the sound
of your cousin calling out
for a game of croquet,
and we snuck down the hill and joined in.
Still, I remember the first thwack
of the mallet, the colored balls
spilled out on the grass,
the voices suddenly familiar.


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