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Published: Tue Jul 1 2008
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas

Because that’s what it is, being alone: a habit.
If you collect the broken limbs

from the trees around your house, you approximate
community and its luminescent decay.  I have kidnapped

carpenter ants and set a feast before them;
from these blood-daubed splinters

they build palaces behind the walls, and the hourglass
night is haunted with their revelry.

Early recordings destroyed themselves while singing;
imagine, even if no one was around,

trailers of wax encoding the floor that will not be
swept up, as though she has just left

and you can, piece by piece, reassemble
a life in absentia.  Upon opening the door,

after a day at the mailbox, you can say, Yes,
she does not live here anymore.

Notice the footprints in the dust and the breeze
stepping in behind you.  Introduce yourself.

Andrew Kozma received his MFA from the University of Florida and his PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. His poems have appeared in Blackbird, Subtropics, AGNI, Copper Nickel, The Best American Poetry 2015, and elsewhere, and his nonfiction has appeared in The Iowa Review. His book of poems, City of Regret (Zone 3 Press, 2007), won the Zone 3 First Book Award. He has been the recipient of a Jentel Residency, a Houston Arts Alliance Fellowship, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship, and a D. H. Lawrence Fellowship. (updated 6/2016)

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