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220 SUSAN VOLCHOK Standing Here/Now —In honor of the publication of False Horizon, by Sue Standing I This poem remembers the summer created topographies of doubt: past the monastery and up to the country of desire full of pink-snouted spotted pigs and overflowing corncribs. The square square miles. Water rising. That must have been then, hammered together by an inept carpenter: Unsay it. Gainsay it. A perfume made of coal and tar. An exhausted wash of cloud is otherwise. A darkening mirror which once held the beauty and sorrows of women. Love stretched thinner than a wishbone. Everything in the rain. 221 II She hoped their love would not prove fugitive, a knifethrower’s kiss on the template of the body. But whose naked narrative will suffice? Choose: backward or forward. Who are you anyway? The good life breezes by the grafted trees. Things happen in time, the crosswalk signal says. I want a house-shaped house that you might come to love, might keep you, a room, a table, paper and pencil. Above this latitude of lassitude, past pink thistles on which bees impale themselves: How did you learn to leave him? The echo of loon calls, of musical hysteria. Grief is endless and invisible. No bones, only flesh and restlessness. But yesterday in the buoyant waters Your thighs of igneous rock the cascade’s inside me— 222 III Skin is skin when your own limbs are electric. Impossible to keep anything. Impossible, impossible to translate. Perhaps she has lost herself in loss. After was after all. It’s lonely here, without a doubt, a room inside a room inside a room— they call it continuity. All night, you can hear the loud beep beep beep in the style of Fellini, not Truffaut— did you know that irrisou, that bits of language like potsherds, like the prizes at the peche aux canards, set voices rising from under the lindens: soyez prudent. I make my call and walk back through impatiens and petunias, and into the oak woods where the path divides. Why don’t places remember people? ...


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