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The Limitations of Ordinary Light

ISSUE:  Autumn 1996

Last night after leaving you
I drove North up a dark highway
trying not to sleep,
too empty to cry.
A logging truck passed,
going eighty-

then, up ahead, fireworks
on the road, in the sky, flames
dancing like tigers,
logs suspended in flight,
trees growing
crazily out of air.

The lopsided truck
skewered on the guardrail,
smoking grill.
In that moment before the fire

I felt again
the cold spot on my cheek
your fingers had left—

how miraculous
that it should persist
moving through the heat
before the explosion.


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