Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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I don’t want to consider cruelty
or what I neglect to save. I only
want to know why, when I grip
a tire iron, I feel its weight

in me. As a child, I fed
the egrets as they stood neck-to-neck
across a rippled mirror. Their bodies
white as bread. The sea wall,

a serrated edge. Its hawks and graffiti,
its jetties’ arms, now cradle younger
men in another century. The darkening
water, a monotype stung with salt.

Its muddy slur, frozen and cracked
like faces in memory. Wind. How I want
to believe in the accidental
in its music, in the sweater

my mother once found behind the derrick,
a hole ripped in its breast. How she plied
the arms from its shoulders and pulled them
over my stockings as we perched on a ledge,

a map curled in her mouth
as though carried by an egret.
Now, I don’t want to consider
what to salvage, what not to

fix. I want only the sea walk,
its blue safety glass.    

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