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Seasons Among the Tribes (18)

Let the river grind its persistent bluish stone.

And now even, at snow's end, cafes regenerate,
the traps of adventure trailing
away in the bowed music. I might, he thinks,
have dreamt myself so cold,
have dreamt as many waves, made powdery
on beach stones, dissembling time and loss
as all the powders vivify, a people kneeling to pray
or say their gratitude for water, as used
as consequent, feeling the sway of birthdays
and long-married harmonics,
and stepping into it, and into the new snow,
remembering as he will, finding
the immense yellow moon like risk in the tall limbs,
the snow cracking underfoot
through the whole of oakwood. A man
remembers what he will, beneath
the eye of God, the clefs of such a music, watches
their faces on day-baked streets, kids
who must have dreamt themselves so cold,
crying as kids in tongues
against the desert-studded dark, remembering faces
and that music to the last days of their lives,
their bodies, like white convertibles,
beside a white garage, invisible to start,
in conversations idling, in the voices of the women
coming home again to whisper,
women come to dance, as if learning
the ways to love
should not have made a difference,
as if the motion of the human
were but a smooth
drugged birth.

-Robert Lietz


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