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Published: Mon Nov 26 2018
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.

Always it’s putting two things together
that don’t necessarily belong there
_       _ —Gerald Stern, “Two Things”

a voice on the corner
shouting in the face of night
liquor bickering with conscience
sleep with desire

a picket fence with a gate
you might step over
kitchen windows cranked
open to the street

and the smell of lilacs
entering like a ghost
searching for a single
hesitation to haunt

Bruce Willard’s poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Harvard Review, AGNICortland Review, Ploughshares, Salamander and 5 A.M. as well as on NPR’s Writer’s Almanac. He has two collections of poems, Holding Ground (2013) and Violent Blues (2016); both published by Four Way Books. His third collection, Bond, is forthcoming. More information is available at www.brucewillard.com. (updated 10/2018)

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