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The Next Row

ISSUE:  Spring 2007
I used to think after rain lashed the fields
behind my house and listed its complaints
against the window

like a post office clerk
tapping at the nothing there and the anything

that might cross his counter, it would be clear again
and I could see
every edge of every blade
cut the sky in two.

The woman in the next row
shares your skeptical brow and razor-

cut hair, shares your ability to look at ease and unhappy at once.
Is she proof of you the way an umbrella is proof of rain?

Plush red seats and jumbo plastic holders, a couple wrapped
arm to arm; we are this

and more inside our silver house, our eyes
grown generous as puddles, and further within, a psalm
I know you I know you.

Do you remember, I want to ask,
it was winter before we went downtown, you stood
at the mirror (the apartment’s panes gleaning ice) and drew
dark lines above your eye?
Eye to hand to eye.

I know you: I’m getting it wrong. I know you: her face, the blade
of a cattail raising its furrowed head,

the projector’s white eye, light cast forward,
divided inside this wide wide frame.


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