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ISSUE:  Winter 1993
Tonight I walk home through the park
along a gravel path, stopping to sit under a lamp
that casts its net of light over a cement bench.
I rest, spreading my limbs across cement that releases
its hoarded cool to me, and my pain uncoils.
I absorb the night as if it were water,
as if I were lying on a wide stair
in the shallow end of an immense,
emptied pool. This world seems upside down—
the starless sky a deep blue ocean above me,
the black air like night submerged
below me. I think I know how oceans feel
when sky pours darkness into their vast basins.
I am buoyed by slow waves that lure away
my hurt easily as the moon coaxing
water away from the shore.

No, I’m not thinking this at all.
I’m reveling in how quickly
I can make myself imagine I don’t feel
what I am feeling, amazed
by truth, how it floats to the surface
like air rising from the mouth
of a person drowning.


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