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Inside every world there is another world trying to get out,
and there is something in you that would like to discount this world.
The stars could rise in darkness over heartbreaking coasts,
and you would not know if you were ruining your life or beginning a real one.
You could claim professional fondness for the world around you;
the pictures would dissolve under the paint coming alive,
and you would only feel a phantom skip of the heart, absorbed so in the colors.
Your disbelief is a later novel emerging in the long, long shadow of an earlier one—
is this the great world, which is whatever is the case?
The sustained helplessness you feel in the long emptiness of days is matched
by the new suspiciousness and wrath you wake to each morning.
Isn’t this a relationship with your death, too, to fall in love with your inscrutable life?
Your teeth fill with cavities. There is always unearned happiness for some,
and the criminal feeling of solitude. Always, everyone lies about his life.
Sandra Lim's first book of poems, Loveliest Grotesque, won the 2005 Kore Press First Book Award. She has taught literature and writing at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Iowa. She lives in San Francisco.
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