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Out of My Own Pocket

ISSUE:  Winter 1999

Light drifts from the stalled
Aegean ships to the bare table
where pages rise in a brief
breeze, then fall, opened
palms after a prayer.

What is required this time?
Paid my dues. Pain was referred
to another place. Point by point.
Settled in by the leaded window.
Wind out of my sails.

Then I considered the shape
I was in. Out of my own
pocket, I said, offering
pure air, all done with tiny
mirrors, sewn into the cloth.

Nothing now but to turn
the page, and then I hear In my
, the voice not mine but
mine the slipping down
again, slope, shaft, strip, old

bones preserved, pressed
into the coal. Not the girl,
not even the wailing mother,
harbored rage trailing
the shimmering ships, and not

the ships or the whispering
sea, but a woman turning away
from the crowd, taking her keys
from her pocket, a woman
on her way, on her way home,


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