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Sometimes the mind rises only into its own sky
The day gone to wind and last night’s rain

Our names skipping like flat rocks
Across someone else’s hopscotch

Where once you scratched your Xs and Os.
Or was that tic-tac-toe, tally where no one

Should ever win, though you can blunder
Badly, losing in the lens

The spot that marks your name
Your old bicycle with the rusted chain

Leaning against the willow of your boyhood window.
Over dinner, mumbling to yourself, what will you say

When you come out of the rain,
A box of chalk dissolving on the sidewalk,

Some dead dog trailing you
Running to your whistle?

You have gathered there in some way station
Of momentary prayer, before the broken bread.

Well, it’s only your mother’s sauce,
Only a taste of her leavening the pot.

See, it must happen this way: Around
The set table, this new silence, this radical.

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The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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