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ISSUE:  Fall 2008

In the alluvium of
the hot afternoon,
where the day’s clarities
meet the muddy
salt currents of
evening, they resume
their pale protest
against the flocking night.
Near the bridge into town,
the same two trees
await them, puzzling
the slow river
with jags of shadow.
To these, they bring
their origami gifts,
flying in from
the far parts of the river
and the tidal flats
where they have been
all day practicing
assassinations, unblemished
necks stretching
with the quicksilver of
luckless fish. By sunset
the two trees are
a squabble of white, as if
albino or abruptly
in blossom. Extravagant
as snowfall, common as
the filling moon, the birds
tuck their long beaks
and eye the bright boats
of the fishermen returning
and the ripples of
the dark river, reaching,
then reaching again.


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