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Poetica Magazine’s Anne Davidson Rosenberg Award Finalist: When You Enter

POETRY

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Finalist, Poetica: The Anne Davidson Poetry Prize 2017

When you enter (ki tavo)

You see them on the news, living in tents,
their lifetimes’ earnings vanished
in a flash of fire. They haul water
from the leaden, asbestos rivers to wash,
bathe wounds, boil rice.

Perhaps till now
you did not understand chance,
its delicate character. You studied
Victorian novels and acne,
holding a mirror to your back.

Decades implode
with all their floor plans and furnishings
you want to say to your young self,
that dream-swept girl
wrapped in reflecting light.

Instead, you pass without her noticing,
into the refugee camps, into heat-blasted rubble,
into contingencies as they are really lived,
the weight of promise the yoke
that sets you free.

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