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Callaloo 23.1 (2000) 32-33

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Carl Phillips

Part 1: In the Family

There, behind the raised
and extended
wing to which
no bird
no fiend
no haloing is
attached: two bodies,
fucking. It is difficult
to see, but that much--
from the way, with great
then greater
effort, their mouths
seem half to recall or
want to
a song even older,
holier than the one they
fill with--I can
guess. The rest,
I know: that it's dream;
that, in dream,
to know a thing is to
have a gift and
not to, especially. Like
refusing to prove what
anyway all scrutable
signs point to. Stopped
trees are the least of it,
the still standing
but decidedly aslant
version of unanimous,
what looks at
first like approbation; [End Page 32]
then--like trees,
and how a wind will
pass through. To turn
with and not
against it
no more means
the wind is with us than
the gods are. I don't
believe each gets what
each deserves.

Carl Phillips is the author of From the Devotions, a finalist for the National Book Award, In the Blood, winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, Cort├ęge, finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and his most recent collection, Pastoral. He teaches at Washington University (St. Louis), where he has also served as the director of the Creative Writing Program.



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pp. 34-35
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