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Audio: Read by the author.


I remember you in your final atonement, how calm you were.
Though you couldn’t tell me, you understood the names hidden in the dusk. 

I wish I could’ve given you my arms, so that you’d have recognized 
a tether to earth, but in your stupor you needed to forget things. 

I wonder sometimes about the work of your eyes.
What did they see in the ceiling that made the nurse clutch her breast? 

As a human, you were nearly blameless. You wouldn’t let go
of the bouquet I picked from the courtyard, until it was time to let go. 



Joanna Solfrian’s first poetry collection, Visible Heavens (Kent State), was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye for a Wick First Book Prize. Her second collection is The Mud Room (MadHat). The Second Perfect Number, a chapbook, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.


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