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I walk in a borrowed self,
a drift of mist
left from a smoking lake.

Even when I sit still as a dead wind,
the sun still eats me.
My skin turns back to sea-foam
peeling away from a loaned skin.

With luck the melt is slow,
the thinning of a stone
or the thinning of love
to its weary core:
that hoard guarded
as if the last few seeds.

Zona Teti, “Joan Outside,” Mississippi Review (vol. 19, no. 3, 1991)
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Instead of a street light
angling through your blinds
decorating sleep
I am a pale gleam
on the sheets
my mouth the next verse
we lean into
I want to set you loose
like a wind chime
in a storm shaking the house
until our teeth crack
I don’t want a taste
I want my body to be
so full of your body
that you wave at yourself
in the mirror
with my hand

Sarah Bartlett, from Sixth Finch (Winter 2014)

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This morning, I have
never been so close to you. I think you could be
anywhere and so I have written you here, not to forget. Yet
I don’t want to see you caught like a word in that last line.
What does the nightingale do when it runs out of things to say?
Only this: I have never been so astonished at the love of one woman
which is the way the moon finally closes its eye behind a ridge,
the way the wind never stays around long enough to see
         what it has brought.

—Richard Jackson, from “The Gift of the Wind,” in Resonance: Poems (The Ashland Poetry Press, 2010)

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Of light on water

and the movement of each
individually and together.

It is not a metaphor for splendor.

It is a wedding of elements.

The Greeks, seeing the god in all, would have understood.

When I write of water and light,
I speak to those things as much as to you.

—Elaine Equi, “I Speak a Dialect of Glitter,” Mad Hatters’ Review (Issue 15)

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May my silences become more accurate.

Theodore Roethke, from “Words for Young Writers,” On Poetry & Craft (Copper Canyon Press, 2001)
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