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Slow the Bleeding

ISSUE:  Autumn 1999
Emptiness never was my mother. I only called it home
with wishing, when long ago the bread
ran out, and my animals could no longer share

their house with childhood. Now, from far inside
lightning, I finally see. There’s nothing to be made
of this place. Darkness is determined to stay

familiar, and if I do the little singing, I will
not need light. My doves flee evening by filling
the thick branches where it first gathers.

I come ashore at forgetfulness. I go into
the sea when the sun is just right: into
my hand goes gleaming until all my thousand

mouths are opened, though I don’t know what
they want. Emptiness was a world followed
closely by the locusts, though it already had

their hunger. Now, when there are animals here,
I imagine them, though they are hiding. I drink
at the exhaustion this neighborhood makes.

My animals recognize light yellower than an eye,
streets dead leaves are sweeping, houses
spilling blackbirds as if they were seeds.

Please understand how painful this is, when
the vultures can’t stand the waiting, when
the wolves can come because there is no world.


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