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Summer 2012


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Cutting a slit
from the throat
to vent
and pulling out
the innards;

rinsing and stuffing
the insides with lemon
and thyme; wrapping
the flesh in paper-
thin prosciutto

to keep it
from falling apart;
then creating
a little oil slick
to fire them up,

like naked figures
harbored in my bed,
I think: I must
draw a veil
over the past.

I must
feel nothing
in connection
with it. But then
standing there,

eating forkfuls
like white violets,
a sky dark
with storm and rain,

I also think:
If I were
a little sparrow,
I’d fly
straight to him.

—Henri Cole

Henri Cole’s most recent book is Touch, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux last fall.

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