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This Great Society

 
 

Illustration: James Moes


"Signal Fire” Poetry by Veronica Collins
Illustration: James Moes

When the rain sweeps into this city,
I sense your body heat like a signal fire.

Up there, on the cliffs, you are tending to the smoke,
choosing the wood and grass  
(the way of a man building a house, the way of a man casting a line).

You live like you fish: patient, knowing, skillful.
Your bent attention and your steady trawling,
so apart from my foraging
(my here and there,
the way I rattle windows, scatter leaves in my wake).

I watch you from the grasses,
in the seconds between running and pouncing,
the way you stand –
a pillar of shadow in water.


I am the swimmer, at odds with the tide,
and you are the bluff, the silhouette, the flame.

The lit window
two floors up,
when the rain sweeps into this city.

 
 

 

 
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