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Published: Thu Jul 1 2010
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Lenox Aubade

for Amy Clampitt

I grew my hair out
_       _ in a depression.  Let it knot
into a forum for the birds
_       _ in my thoughts, sparked
into actuality

in the wee dark.  What wills them
_       _ awake?  An early
sentry, then the rest
_       _ beckoning?  Coordinates rising
when stars in the lifting night
_       _ are falling.

_       _ Letting them nest,
I felt their joy
_       _ accumulate, until I was ugly
no longer, but a self divorced
_       _ from a body:

_       _ beach of grit
and sea glass, bit driftwood, God-
_       _ forsaken ovaries, ashes
buried beneath a listing tree, decades
_       _ of love, the burned,
uxorious husband.

Becoming the sleep
_       _ of the sleigh bed, convinced
by a piccolo hither
_       _ and flourish, bashful
and easeful notes, a bridge of love-
_       _ making scoring sun
across earth again.

Paula Bohince is the author of three collections: Swallows and Waves (Sarabande Books, 2016), The Children (Sarabande, 2012), and Incident at the Edge of Bayonet Woods (Sarabande, 2008). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, AGNI,The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. She has been a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholar. She lives in Pennsylvania. (updated 9/2019)

Her AGNI poem “The Fly” was chosen for The Best New Poets 2005.  Paula briefly served as poetry editor of AGNI in fall 2019.

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