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from Elegies

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 1, 2013
p. 78 | 10.1353/ner.2013.0032

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

Five days before you died, you lay
across my lap, barely balanced
between content and lethargy—
languor of mid-July

and you already half-consigned
to what I still somehow believed
belonged to a far off future,
a reedy conjecture.

How comfortable could you have been—
the heat, my knees against your sharp
unpadded bone, your skeleton
pushing against your skin,

but still you didn’t move, your breath
slow, easy. What is contentment
but easy breath? And your eyes
fallen to gentle creases.

How long could I sit there like that?
Five minutes—ten—in the still air
feeling the distinct vertebrae
rise and fall on my thigh,

my hand on your side, thinning hair,
dry skin, each rib fragile as chalk,
and the humid exhale of breath
redolent of earth?

How long like that—in the heat,
your hair in clumps around my hand—
how long, five minutes, even ten?
Maybe I gave you ten.

Benjamin S. Grossberg  

Benjamin S. Grossberg is the author of Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009), winner of the 2008 Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award, and Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (Ashland Poetry Press, 2007). His third collection, Space Traveler, is forthcoming from the University of Tampa Press. Recent poems can be found in Pleiades, Alaska Quarterly Review, Minnesota Review, the Sun, and Southwest Review.

Copyright © 2013 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Benjamin S. Grossberg. "from Elegies." New England Review 34.1 (2013): 78-78. Project MUSE. Web. 8 Jul. 2013. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Grossberg, B. S.(2013). from Elegies. New England Review 34(1), 78. Middlebury College. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from Project MUSE database.
Benjamin S. Grossberg. "from Elegies." New England Review 34, no. 1 (2013): 78-78. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 8, 2013).
T1 - from Elegies
A1 - Benjamin S. Grossberg
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 1
SP - 78
EP - 78
PY - 2013
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.1.grossberg.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 1, 2013
ER -


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