Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Death Mask
after L’Inconnue de la Seine

If beauty is silent as a bee’s nest,
pinioned to bark and striped

with winter. Always almost
wakeful—her face, cast the gray

of a lark’s throat, goathide, stone-
skinned, cannot—anymore—

have a wish in its lips. What,
behind her eyes, brought this

smile and fixed it? A bloom
of thunder over the sleepless

city, a mother’s gift, the slip—
wet lace, wet trim—the river

gives as a girl sinks into it.
There are days we forget

death, but splint of shadow,
the body remembers its debt—

like a ghost returned
to remind us of its name.  end  

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