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Winter 2013

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Continued soggy in the personal today
although two strangers smiled at me,
one because I couldn’t open a plastic bag
either, the other because I stepped aside
as if I was holding the door for her
even though it was an automatic door.
The peaches, first of the season, were tiny
and powerful as baby rattlesnakes.
A branch had fallen on the driveway
by the time I got home like a friendly arm
over a shoulder so I sat in the car
listening to the rain try to find its melody,
not wanting to flunk my student for not
turning in his twenty pages of clouds
after promising he would. You’re singing
I said almost every class. Don’t forget
you’re singing. Even in the heart
of an artichoke, there’s probably a god.
Energy is stored in the tri-phosphate bond
then released when that bond is broken.
Is that why everything’s so difficult?
One big pearl, said the Buddha, then glanced
shyly around to make sure no one understood.
We know only that the spirit is not matter,
is not sap stilling in the veins
or even mist coalesced of the last breath,
sang Orpheus before being torn apart.




—Dean Young



Dean Young’s volume of selected poems, Bender, has just been published by Copper Canyon Press.
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