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(Williams, Rukeyser, and Sexton)
Once, there was no time. Instead,
what we now call Queen Anne's lace
stretched out around here endlessly.
Tiny purple hearts we wanted to possess.
Later, in the dark time of Icarus,
we'd learned enough to question
ingenuity. Left behind, a woman's voice over waves
grieved insistently, but she did not cry.
Now, we have survived the modern dream.
An airplane crashes, we watch funerals on TV;
my mother tells my father that she gave up art
for him, painting huge red tulips in the basement.
Once, I wished I were a woman.
I tried to kill myself, but couldn't.
I could write about it now, but screw it—
tomorrow, we might realize the human.
Rafael Campo is a poet and physician who practices medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Enemy, The Healing Art, and Landscape with Human Figure, among others.
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