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Elizabeth Bishop

 

Alone, at low tide like this, sheer water is an endless

& flooded argument, beneath that, love: bed, cage,

 

Cemetery-cold conversation, colder air…

Case-drunk days, dear compass, that cannot bring you near.

 

Each bar, each day-end march (so far from over) veers

Fist-first at death, that gentle-going hex, hymn half-

 

Hidden here, hangs, hell, stars in our next wish, you say.

Hammered house guest, I rip each clock apart instead,

 

Ink lit hours when night makes us juries, greets our eyes,

Little love-letter lessons, like black birds, sleep, lies…

 

Like coats of wet whitewash—moving from left to light.

My map, my saving grace, now can you see moments

 

Of breath? O off-course patience, pleasure pulls back pink

Quick-caught curtains, questions travel, remembers rain

 

Towards morning—stray suicide song, street dreams forgot.

Still dark, this time thank-you note art is not my home.

 

Under our window, untitled congress, belief visits,

Waits (wasted view, minutes), wants one word with you: yes.

 

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