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Where am I this light is awful
and crawls sand-lugged on rails through the loomed oak,
occasional clot of hemlock. Boggy water.
Boggy flesh. Home to the whitechurched haunt.

Isn’t the frantic meadow repugnant?
Doesn’t the cranberry trade sicken the seabound dads
not long for their sedans, holding back bodyboards
from flying out, Atlantic? When God calls you

in what voice do you respond? Do you,
unthinkingly, revert to a biblical inversion? Do you
pronounce words roundly, hold up a hand for electrocution?
What part of you sings in the morning?

Does your glass neck whistle? You, with ice dreams
in granite tones. Listening, even in sleep, for the dog.
Here am I—!  In a voice hard-tied as bailing twine,
staticked as traincar sun—         Here am I—



Robiny Jamerson received her MFA from Columbia University. Her awards include Columbia’s Academy of American Poets University Prize and the Edward Eager Memorial Prize from Harvard University.



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