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Old boxwood cloven overnight by storm,
sharp storax ambar & hoar-caped steam
lingering like that elusive dream,
What was it? That the stolen car or key forgotten
in a murky city is another word for dread?
Boot grunt, chainsaw, panic, stridor
of scarved breathing, what’s far sounds near;
what’s close, years off. The dream, was it wondering,
is god the first memory, how die without something
to remember, is there room in the huddled body
for this captured tune? Saturnalian, chandelier
oaks grovel under cloud cudgel. Engines catch, burr.
The lawn strigose. Everything in the register
of clavical, pelvis, shiv & clank noblesse,
silver on bone, on plate, places I cannot guess.
Clear nocks shedding from bamboo beyond the firs.
Glass coffins, brush dense with birds. Saline blur.
Milk-white, a claw hangs frozen from the concrete bath.
Idolatrous, armored by a sheer, worshipful wrath,
could even winter swear I’m made of words.
Lisa Russ Spaar has published over ten books of poetry and criticism, most recently Monticello in Mind: 50 Contemporary Poems on Jefferson and Orexia: Poems. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English at the University of Virginia.
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