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I no longer have the plan within me. —Any plan.I am no longer able even to weep.(Was that part of the plan? Surely it was.)Where I tended a garden a verb has taken shape:a poison masquerading as honey. I buy & I buycalendars, all of them missing days—days I can’t remember or else remember muchtoo well. I had never thought the pastwould come to me in the shape of a bell,a bird, a bone: that is, brailled and charming.No I have never driven the combine, the chopper,the harvester. I see my ghost-fingers in the chaff,pale & bloody, little Christs. A trayof surgical instruments glitters at the far edgeof my dusky solfege. Is this a plan? No,this is a machine, & the angel of machineshas come to trouble all that yet lieswithin me. I feel its breath, a library cold & heavyon my bearded cheek. How to believein something that is not already a part of oneself?—The way the garment believes in the bodyas long as it’s being worn; the way I takethe poison into myself for the sake of its sweetness.Plan, from the Latin planus, flat. A schematicof where love has dwelt, the apposed weft’sblue inclusory. I protected nothing, I bloodiedmy apron with love’s tenses. My childrenburn like matchsticks in a single night.They sound their one note like trumpets wrappedin gauze . . . Speak ark, speak ash. Youwho do not know how to die, who read this,you whose standing perturbs the unnaillable light. [End Page 30]

G. C. Waldrep

G. C. Waldrep’s most recent books are Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (BOA Editions, 2011), with John Gallaher; The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta, 2012), co-edited with Joshua Corey; and a chapbook, Susquehanna (Omnidawn, 2013). He lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he teaches at Bucknell University, edits the journal West Branch, and serves as Editor-at-Large for Kenyon Review.

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