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Winter 2012

Discharged into Clouds

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On the fifth floor I spent 10 days
learning how to walk never far
above the earthworms, never far
below the sky. The darkness there

had nothing to do with an absence
of light and it wasn’t a voice
calling me. Now I’ve been awake
a thousand years, wouldn’t be surprised

to find a forest fire in my closet
or an eye in a cut-open apple. All night
passing cars throw luminous figures
against the wall that flee like angels

given the wrong address. All night
a woman down the hall screamed how
a wound wanted its knife back.
Magnificent must have been the bird

whose claws dropped me, magnificent
my scars. The old heart, cut apart
and out, they wouldn’t show me.

—Dean Young

Dean Young's new and selected poems, Bender, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press.

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