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How Distant the Meanings

ISSUE:  Fall 2021


Able only to recall 
his parting footsteps—the chipping away at 
a tree one fells at last 
to walk away from,
which as it buckles irreversibly
descends, the moment between the last 
frayed fibers and its lying leveled
split into what must be 
pure ambivalence: how distant 
the meanings from fallen to felled,
that thought run through
with what sorrow marks each act of love 
an act of sanctification
and grief in equal measure—
and too, that he appeared, briefly, to falter,
not quite stopping, but seeming to
waver, as if he recognized too late
a little insect in his path
or felt too strongly
the low sun’s light on his face,
his shadow stretching behind him,
almost to my feet.



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