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My Bluest Shirt

ISSUE:  Summer 2009

Now uselessness casts its shadowy ligature
across If only. Now—never mind how
briefly—conquest almost seems not to have,
from the start, been the only color,
each defeat
a stepping-stone across a stream whose
name, maybe, should have mattered more,


but didn’t. It’s late. It’s dark out. Crush
of hollyhock and lantana, and flawed
intention. Bells, as if meant
to remind us. Clumsy
eloquence of a body faltering; fumbling rhythmically.
—Look at me. Little ocean, getting farther away.
Now I touch at once both everything and nothing.


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