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  • The Girding
  • Carl Phillips

            With time,            with wear,            the leather softens.

Clarity versus blur.

It is very—in that way—like the body.

Something not the soul, morea cross between will and spirit thaterodes finally, the erosionitself seductive almost.

Some of us pursue our hungers,                                                                  some enact them.

Fine distinctions, as among gifts, the sort we choose,those we find; others, that press themselves upon us.

            Not punishment—            think in terms of, instead,            persuasion.

It is important to know                                        —to understand—the difference.

There is hardly any comparison, is there, there isnone at all between a shield that has donewell what it was meant to                                                          —its luster no longerthat of utility but, better, best, that of use—

and a sky when it only resembles                                                              such a shield. [End Page 1157]

To blur with meaning,versus to blur to meaningful effect.

            No, the legs go here.

            The straps adjust.

            Like so. [End Page 1158]



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pp. 1157-1158
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