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I would remain by night with you
who, having held me once, wrapped everything I knew
into my sleeping body’s hold and held fast and stayed.
You shuttled in sleep against me and away, not sleeping,
beached and exhausted by wine and rushes from
another life whose body my body meant to alter.
But I am wayfaring and recently wrecked;
I understand the cost of pulling free from what once loved you.
I would remain by night with you, if the night is clear enough
to see by, and the wind light enough to draw the stars
in the skin’s skies open, and the waves you sensed
through the dress in the wind are real, and only mine.
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Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.
Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.