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Walking Through the Room

ISSUE:  Summer 2009

When I became a traveler through another’s grief,
When her face became for me a kind of architecture,
I could wander the halls, I could turn
The porcelain knobs and leave my evidence, I could
Be present, sit on the bare mattress, look at the sheets
Draped over the furniture, I could see that landscape
As the dust fell on it, I could lie down across the plains,
Stare at the crack in the sky, the crack circling the sun,
Long ago the sun went out, long ago the filament
Burned a slow orange and died, it does not stop the light
From completing its work, falling on things,
Falling on my hand that spins the globe on its axis,
It does not stop the light from pacing across the floor,
It does not stop the dust from catching slow fire in the current.
When her eyes became for me a kind of river where I could walk,
Where I could slake my thirst by my cupping my hands,
Where the water runs over the stones the water wears away,
Where I can reach through the water and pick up a stone,
Where I can hold it in the light, where I can see the filament
Coursing blackly across the sphere, marking the halves,
Dividing the upper world from the lower, mapping the fault,
The line in the palm that ends where the hand ends,
Pointing to the horizon when the hand is held out, the line
Points at the dirt when the hand drops, the line the hand
Curls around when it holds onto nothing to hold itself,
Standing beside the river, hands clenched, refusing to drop
The ash into the river and let the river carry the ash away.


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