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APRIL IS POETRY MONTH: 'The Risk' by Jane Mayhall
All the lovers, denying, pretending
they didn't know what was
coming. I knew ahead I might lose you.
Your coat sleeve, presences, topography, pricked my
recognition, through soul, a
Path to light, that angles darkness,
our lying in the grass on a
mountain, hoisted biographies in the fragmented clouds
we watched, it was clear as the winds
that changed them. Face of
fate, that didn't
either have to be. Our incalculable
harmonies, bodies' lithe fabrication, seascape,
weather, mountains, the luck
whatever of place. Fulfillment swathed like
ammunition in the breeze,
your familiar warm shoulder, prescience -
so good there was nothing to say,
just the right pages turning,
beyond the storm, threat to our love,
their harbor risk.
Excerpt from SLEEPING LATE ON JUDGMENT DAY. Copyright (c) 2004 by Jane Mayhall. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.