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What was it he carried when he left
if not the dreams of those he’d touched?

Without them, without him, I was a stranger
beside a fire. He was gone,

his flesh already drawn to the earth
he loved, even as another nature

bloomed. Or so I was led to believe.
His presence was always shrouded to me,

his kingdom half hidden, like a key.
In such darkness I found his body, stilled—

Gone. And who was I?
I didn’t lie. Until he called my name
once more, I did not know the man.



William Coleman has served as managing editor of Image and executive editor of nonfiction for DoubleTake. A former teaching fellow at Harvard, he is cofounder of the Star-Splitter Academy. His poems have been published in Poetry and Paris Review.




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