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—–—Rembrandt, etching

I forgive the absent boy. He’s happy.
I forgive the downcast faces when
I speak. I know it’s difficult to look
Into the eyes of someone telling you
You matter: shame turns you away because
You know you don’t. And I forgive the yarn.
My words keep no hands warm.

                                                 Listen. That
Is all. And while you’re at the sink, or on
The way to murder, pause the jealous thought
Where death has made a rivalry of equals.
Think how you are like the things you hate,
And, met by similarity, smile. This blind man
Here has looked and found the source of air.
And that boy there, bored? He will never die.



Keene Carter is from Charlottesville, Virginia. His book reviews can be found at Colorado Review, and he has poetry forthcoming in Peripheries and at




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