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how we end up where we are

Feb. 21, 2010
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after all, someone
has to live in new hampshire.

i followed
an army of elephants,
discovered chicago
in the raindrops of etc.

how it is half forgotten,
before it ends
on paper, transformed
in the process. if sunday
morning has a purpose,
this is part: the dolphin's
dream made flesh.
if there is no purpose,
that would be just as well.

my teacher has left me here,
along this lake, where we
will all sleep together
through the togetherness of tonight,
underneath the warm blankets of winter,
beneath the rugs in snow's home,
white that will finally know no print -
no foot or hoof or paw,
for all of life will float and fly.

so alone all through
the summer day, wandering among
railroads, time tracks
lost in the soft heat. thank you
charles simic for pointing me
in the direction of home.

i am sorry i let go
of the language, the tones
of a town in which
i was my own
familiar and you  
a wild version of yourself,
fiery hair, fiery wings,
the very words aflame,
unburned by time.
i am sorry
for the mortality of this
alphabet, of all alphabets.
i am sorry i let go
of your hand, eurydice
decay. i am sorry. i am
sorry. i am not sorry.

all rivers compose a single
line of song, and
all lakes a single sound. 
what i mean is this is not the end.

Steve Pump is a Milwaukee poet who is currently living in Chicago.


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