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The Definite Article

was much like the dry-green sea-set Mediterranean island
the princess went to, but longer back, and in a movie
in black-and-white, but sea light, L'Avventura,
the name was, the adventure doubly definite, the man
and the girl, the yacht--that one--and the, not an island,

or not just any island. The entire point was indirection,
chasing among the rock formations or boulders, and then
in the town. Everyone hiding or searching for which,
unable to derive any further clues from the mystery, or else
(late light) almost everyone's fright at all the assuming.

The bejewelled lit people in the grand hotel's lit mirrors!
Not recognizing the others, the ones walking out, outdoors,
to sit in the darkness. The definite article
asked me, after I'd asked to be told the truth
--about the woman? the man? the night spent

calling and moving, retreating, advancing?
--when I asked for the truth, the definite article
answered, asking but definite, "The truth?"
and instantly repeated, definite, "The truth?"

--Elizabeth Macklin





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