Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Elegy with Lake Effect

A blizzard switched the ground for clouds
and made the county blind when,
blind, you tied your noose and dropped

to quell the rising pressure
of your body. I move by touch
through the blank meadow of heaven.

Here’s the front-walk of roof-ice
crashing, the driveway of what’s
underneath and splits: flashlight,

Nerf ball, Jack-O-Lantern mouth,
rope of bottle rocket shells.
Are you that spill of paperbacks,

spines cracked, in puddle-ice?
Are you wind that stiffens leggings
on the line and doesn’t give

a damn that my gutters wail
and rip loose from their eaves?
Then I don’t give a damn either.

When I tear my shirt, when I
cut my braids off at the nape,
I’m only stockpiling beds

for summer’s goslings. When I
kneel in the snow and scream,
I’m chiseling all the lost books
free by striking breath on bone.    

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