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FOR JOHN KEATS / Jorie Graham for Nanette Today, with a friend, in an archaic yellow light, I visited the graveyard here, an easy lawn behind the school. This town knows where to find its dead, it seems, the graves just flat stone markers in the grass, a gap where growth is barely held back for a name. And it was difficult to know where not to walk. To measure out and skip a length, a human length, and just an extra bit, in case or in respect, seemed right and yet the plots, then, overlapped. Tell me where it's right to walk? Here and there cut flowers had taken root by accident. I recognized some Marigolds, Grandmother's Pocketbooks...How would you cross a lawn that is a sky? I skipped from name to name, leaving a gap for limbs, for sleep, using my shadow as a guage. But it was warm and windy, Spring, my skirts playing my legs, and sparrows hugged the ground in flight. What is respect? If we are gods up here, sunny and quick in this Maylight, mindlight, we are indecorous, we break every enframement, being entirely 30 ¦ The Missouri Review transitive, striding from rib to rib, or is it—since we're up here— thought to thought? I played them all, therefore—limbs, names, flowers, years, even the fresh plots waiting to graft. We live up here by blurring boundaries, calling it love, the present moment, or the beautiful. We live a terrible fecundity, it seems to me, the symbol tripping much too freely over everything it signifies.... Jorie Graham The Missouri Review · 32 ...


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