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Wintering Alone

ISSUE:  Winter 1991
“Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy
of being no-one’s sleep under so many

I shout Rilke’s song as I circle
the mountain, words to bloom among
leaves lining the slopes that ebb
and rise, among granite monoliths

from the earth like whales frozen
in mid-glide. Storm-blown trees

at odd angles, trees you would have cut,
stacked on the stone hearth that now

my emptiness, dark yawn sucking sleep
up the chimney’s stone well, leaving

to permeate rooms where I move
as if underwater, you a skim of light

at the edge of my vision. Driven outdoors
I chant, stamp numbly toward nothing, each

a breath blossoming on cold air. Calmed,
I gather quartz refracting light,

rock to border the rose garden we planted
last spring, roses that loosened,

on your bedside table. Now you are
no-one’s sleep, cold white
encased in satin, you sail the underground
wave, stitched eyelids silk


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