restricted access Lion
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11 Lion I hated the way you had to lift your right arm to the podium with your left, would have to lift it that way forever, you who were once so dapper, courtly, who played tennis and hauled my box of books, heavy as the ocean, to the fourth floor, who lugged so many of us young poets rung by rung down the fire escape from stormy zeal to skill. Before the sickness found you, we walked my campus, you, wise as usual, guessing how beneath those squares of violent green grass there must be heat pipes, and after that I could imagine a universe below of ducts and tubes and carillons and pipes with constellations of furnaces, wine storage, a long passage, maybe, leading to a chamber orchestra, and why not in hot weather, an aqua pool where the violinists take a dip between the slow movement and the vivace? The day I heard about your death, I remembered what you’d taught me, I grasped the metal ring on the trapdoor, pulled it easily as a pop-top, and climbed down stairs 12 to the place you’d shown me, to find you sitting under a blue umbrella, revising. I saw you squinting, rising, smiling, coming toward me, holding out your two good arms. ...


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