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than starlets crouched on the sill
singing the bravery of you, O the bravery
of all things is a lie, is a lie—
and better you know
than leave yourself again
in the full of that bucket
from which the ills
of an amplified life, through you, commence,
their seeds straining into junipers
of the wallpaper,
into the witchwork of the chimney,
the burned faces of a thousand shingles, all
of which were
already here when the bombs hit
and bombs are a lie, bombs are a lie—
and always the still-still older hurt,
the one which made
from the darkness, the light, adamantine boats
onto which clambered the last survivors
of a bomb (still a lie),
shuttling them like two gamecocks, two wolves,
two porpoise, two sheep, two fennel
into this city, which you do not depend upon
but which simmers
in the bravery of you, O the bravery
which depends on you—be well, be well—
and in the places you go, in which the tortures
of a thousand starlets begin,
A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Seth Abramson is author of three poetry collections, most recently Thievery, winner of the 2012 Akron Poetry Prize. He is series Co-Editor for Best American Experimental Writing and a doctoral candidate in English Literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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