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Published: Wed Oct 15 1975
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
AGNI 4 Arts Politics Loss
Eaton, and Other Industries

The French poets: Bonnefoy, Dupin, and du Bouchet,
do you expect us to eat these billboards,
or comb our eyebrows with these metals
that drop from their hands?

Jorge Carrera Andrade astride a horse
of wind! Your nose
sniffs at the corners of these buildings.
In your right hand
you hold an angel of lead;
in your left
the body of Rafael Alberti.

How sorrowful the people of our country,
They stand inside mouths along the rainy streets.
The downtowns flowing with hair;
a woman walks with a bleach bottle
tied around her waist.

When I step outside the house, all I can say
is “the holy solitude is lost.” My feet
merge with gravel as I watch the blue evening
bend its neck and sink below the earth.
I stand in a vacant field
and lift up my arms. Its sands begin to move
beneath my feet . . .

This is where I will die,
here in this vacant field
beneath a starched handkerchief.

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Alan Britt is a poet whose recent books include Vegetable Love (March Street Press, 2009) and Vermillion (Bitter Oleander Press, 2006). (updated 6/2010)

 

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