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The Paperweight

ISSUE:  Summer 1980

At times I wake to find my form
Lodged in a world gone white
And hot as she turns me over
In her large hands, shaking

Snow from my glass bottom sea.
She wants this storm inside me.
Outside, the air around her face
Blurs, she sifts into dots

Of dusk, holds my smooth rind tight. I
Cool, clear; then she looks far
Into my ripe room: families of trees,
Stones, houses (things we hold in

Common as bodies of water). She houses
People, too; but hers detach, fall,
Move out. I am full, have no desire
For open space. I’m set

In my solution: contained, content
To weigh down a single bed of pages—
Except the times her walls rock, her eyes
Crystallize, swim through me while she

Waits. For I compose the still
She wants to break, getting out of
Her heavy head the storm she loves
To make. Transfixed, there’s a point

She sees herself in me.
Her self, imagine that alive
In me: a raveled growth—its pattern
Out of place like a monstrous

Flake with no sense to float,
Dissolve, or stay put. She’d never fit.
I could not live with her
That way, her weight within.


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