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From: New England Review
Volume 33, Number 4, 2013
pp. 111-112 | 10.1353/ner.2013.0020

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:


So as not to send the body into shock
when you stopped, in secret, I knew

you’d started cutting back the dose.
Didn’t I feel myself diminishing,

diminished, as I watched for signs?
Evenings, we’d walk through Blackburn Park,

pausing before those two, nearly fused, trees.
They were shape without name until you

called them poplars. It goes without saying,
I never questioned anything you said.

Depending on the day they seemed
to embrace, or brace for impact.

Like everything that hinges
on perspective, we see most what we want

or fear. When you’d catch me studying your face
I’d fake a smile to see you smiling back.

Each morning, facing backwards
on the train ride into work, I’d stare through

Plexiglas at the scroll of pines, then chain link
wound with barbed wire framing construction sites

where tractors went on gouging the red earth.
Then the tunnel. Then intermittent darkness

and my own sad face looking back.
One morning, emerging from the tunnel,

the train stalled. It felt, somehow, familiar—
a group of strangers, suspended

between here and there. Each of us
mumbling and leaning toward the light.

Wayne Johns  

Wayne Johns’s manuscript, “Words Without Songs,” has been a finalist for the Wick Poetry Prize and the National Poetry Series, among others. His work has been published in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, court green, and Image. This past summer he was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center, and he recently began taking courses at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies.

Copyright © 2013 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Wayne Johns. "Delirium." New England Review 33.4 (2013): 111-112. Project MUSE. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Johns, W.(2013). Delirium. New England Review 33(4), 111-112. Middlebury College. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Wayne Johns. "Delirium." New England Review 33, no. 4 (2013): 111-112. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 15, 2013).
T1 - Delirium
A1 - Wayne Johns
JF - New England Review
VL - 33
IS - 4
SP - 111
EP - 112
PY - 2013
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v033/33.4.johns.html
N1 - Volume 33, Number 4, 2013
ER -


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