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End [by Susan Brind Morrow]

I like having a fierce dog

Who barks and bites

And leaps at your head

The beauty boy who sleeps at my thigh

Red fox red

My beautiful Ted. 









What carnivore 

brought down the deer

Whose rib-cage stands red

In the brown spring fields below


Venus rising in the dawn

Frost on the lawn

This April morning.


We sat and watched the sun go down across the lake below through the broken black outlines of the trees. The faint flicker of a rainbow formed for an instant in the low sky to the north as though it were the rim of something suddenly visible, the shining fragment of the rim of a halo. The last light fell in a wave of gold that swept quickly around the room settling for a moment on each of us in turn. We sat talking in the dark, in what seemed like a box of deep blue light as we had in summers past, so that the evening had about it a sense of timelessness.

I reminded Terry of how once he said that everything operates on the level of four basic elements, their combining and breaking down, and that we are all “just some spectacular sideshow,” as though all the desperate suffering of life were simply an elaboration of this basic principle.

“What is it that makes a human being?” He had said, “What defines being human? Falling in love. And what is that? Seeing something ordinary- as numinous. Seeing. The intensity of that focus, that concentration of energy, would be the heating up in which some significant transformation could take place.”

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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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