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Now the lone swan dips
groundward and her wings
beat more slowly, the scrape
of oak limbs wicking the air
beneath her breast, the arms of oaks

open and out, a narrow hall
between their reaching
(this the route through which
the trees’ separateness
wavers and grows tense).

She is a clutter of feather,
vision, and exhausted breath
ranging over the field’s chin,
seeing the whole flock
messy on the banks. She lowers

herself, folding the wings
into the torso until the feet
extend to catch mud, the throat
playing her recognition,
the wind holding the oaks’ arms

over their heads as though
to slip off a dress. Likewise
a body shrugs off mind,
and the spiders in the tall grass
among the swans’ commingled dung

go on with their slender appointments,
their desire hidden, still untorn.

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