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The Enemy the Wind

ISSUE:  Autumn 1977

Hand over hand and over the backs
of some humans it comes,

as it does now, from the south, south-
east. It comes, beginning nowhere,

and hauling all the expelled
breaths of millions from nowhere,

a foot or a thousand feet above
the oceans, carrying and not

caring. It comes—an enormous zero
that encircles whatever objects

it whirls around. It’s this wind
that touches me here and maybe

again some endless miles north,
or west, or . . . . In the back

of my eye it’s always there
dividing whatever leaf from whatever

tree—dull, unrelenting, dumb.
And also its sour taste rattling

across my tongue. . . . O immortal
and awful marriage between velvet

between velvet pliers and a velvet
noose: the wind, the enemy.


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