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Daily Archives: September 17, 2009

After fourteen years of downsized widowhood,
An efficiency’s garden view, and if he bent
To the kitchen’s greasy window, smokestacks
Over trees and then the light-struck river,
Which from this distance never appeared
To move, the current small creases like worn flesh,
He thought it would only take a little air
On the street, a change of scenery
To fix the ache, his good left arm discreet,
A silent counselor at his shoulder
With a determined pinch, a signal
For which he strangely lacked the strength to respond
That he understood. So he sought to predict
And thus accommodate its return
As with the neighbor he’d never met
Beyond a curt how are you, her perfect
Disapproving face, on which he’d focused
So she wouldn’t think he’d dare eye any
Other part of her, now floating over his
As she loosened his shirt. If only he’d considered
Earlier lying on concrete. The cars brushing past
Slowed on reflex as if their wheels had sunk
Into dirt, all traffic could do in homage
Like the anonymous though pleasant dusk,
The peering passengers close enough to touch
While right there a crowd bloomed around him
As in the park or a sermon, waiting
For someone to hug the accordion
Or make lesions vanish from a leper’s back,
Show them what came next. As for his flawed heart,
The attack was final, defied nitroglycerin
Then the paramedic’s brusque cajoling
But was itself a tonic for everything else.

                                                            —David Moolten

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