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Until We Have No Children

ISSUE:  Autumn 1999

And the loveliness goes hand in hand with the graveyard,
if only at this time of year. No airplane or insects
or afterthought. No place for things to happen.

Out of all the pigeons that rise up at once,
the one becomes a lantern. The only lanterns
are made of late cocoons, and of the roaming,

and of the eye. Even the sky must remember itself
as it comes through the leaves, crimson
with its own incredible hold. Even the fearful

must learn to fear; there must be light by which
to darken rooms, with shoulders unlike shoulders,
hands unlike hands. There must be jars

fired to be broken, napkins folded, checks
cancelled, children crying in the street. There
must be motels to make one think of loneliness.

But, no. It’s autumn. Time to hear the clear bell,
heavy bell, above the bent oxen. Nothing
resembles the lovers like their dove-like necks.


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