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The Z falls from doze
waking us to the forested creature inside

To the Y that got jostled out of the many

To the X that added itself to ape as a gentle joke
that went too far

To the W that made an omen out of women

To the V that in its absence gives eyes to the starving

To the U slipping from the buoys
to a boundary of boys in the sea

To the T that softened our terror to error

To the million grains of S multiplying the and
connecting everything

To the R from beret becoming
a fist of red whispering underground

To the Q that like the queen must never leave

To the P that peeled away so the pear
would not be deaf to the ground on which it fell

To the O that flies up out of the boat into the night sky

To the N forsaking violent, gentling to the smell of a violet

To the M from muse disrobing into use

To the L loosed from gold
that led us to God

To the K dropping from seek
like scales from our eyes

To the J unhooking from jiffy
and our tragic certainties

To the I loosed from aim
always flying toward some target

To the H slipping away as we go from hour to our

To the G that unglues from gloom,
a dark frame for weaving hope

To the F breaking from fever
so we can get back to ever after

To the E that falls off the ledge of quite

To the D that drains from the sink of the sky

To the C that unclasps from code and leaves us in praise

To B or not the B can’t decide so on leaving the bus
leaves it to us

Because what we have come to praise is gone
by the time we say amen



Rita Mae Reese is the author of The Book of Hulga (Wisconsin). She designs Lesbian Poet Trading Cards for Headmistress Press and codirects Arts + Literature Laboratory in Madison.




Photo by Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

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