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And I am what but a hair machine
He loved but could not recognize I
Said across my father’s dimming face
Let me kill for you a creature     let

Me feed what senses you have left     I
Go hungry and half blind in his wake
     For blind is my inheritance     what
The whitened eyes see     just wings every

Day where no wings bloom     and the darkness
Breaketh not     and what sort of brother
And master in the night’s heart cries that
He is my slave     father I deserve

Said I into his darkness nothing
     I felt the hot truth descend on my
Will and my wide shoulders born hirsute
Not smooth nor plumed     I felt unmanned     I

Let the blessings fall by thy guile to
Thee     brother of rarer air     go fight
Go wrestle with names     I know myself

     Except by howling none other than
Thou shall know my hunger     I cannot
Bless this theft     my stolen children each
Me replacing me replacing me



Dan Rosenberg’s most recent book is Bassinet (Carnegie Mellon). His poems can be found in Kenyon Review, Conduit, Ploughshares, and at Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets. He is chair of the English department at Wells College. More at





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