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"Identity Card" [by David Lehman and William Wadsworth]

Burning Bush
Identity Card

Identity may be difficult to define.
It equals itself, as a rose is a rose.
Tell me your name. I’ll tell you mine,

Though if I do, don't t0ake that as a sign
That I am someone whom anyone knows.
Identity is not so easy to define.

Don'tt lose that card, or you may find
Another plays your hand.  Anything goes.
The name of the game is Anyone's, not mine.

Forensic science may underline
Our DNA, but family history shows
Identity ain’t so scientifically defined.

Released from history, nameless, a wine
Of no known vintage seduces my foes.
Tell me your name. I'llll tell you mine.

“I am who I am,” says the voice we've assigned
To God, but thanks to the dice he throws,
Our identity is impossible to define.
What's your name? Is it the same as mine?

-- David Lehman and William Wadsworth
For extra credit, what is the relation of the picture atop the page to the verse below?

January 29, 2021

January 22, 2021

January 18, 2021

January 11, 2021

November 16, 2020

November 13, 2020

November 06, 2020

October 26, 2020

October 24, 2020

April 26, 2020

March 29, 2020

March 17, 2020

January 02, 2020

October 09, 2019

August 09, 2019

July 14, 2019

July 07, 2019

May 03, 2019

March 01, 2019

July 11, 2018

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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