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Reentry
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Published: Fri Jul 01 2005
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Reentry

I was playing again on the stone stairs of the castle
              where I’d grown up a couple of lives ago.
                            I could hear the hiss of seconds passing.
              My mother sat as I’d left her, among mothers,
aiming a thread through a needle’s eye.

All was as it should be. I shouted grave orders
              to the dolls, my prisoners. Clearly
                            I was still afraid of my largeness,
              my separateness, my long
horrible arms striking out.

                            *

Supplicants and prey. All was as it ever is.
              The hissing sweeping hand. I turned on a top stair.
                            Open the door, and the world’s silver wires
              sizzle—long lit hallways with workers
hawking their nations’ wares.

A passing-by of shoes with gold buttons. So like
              my own. I step through the door . . . hissing sweep
                            of my gown. I open my eyes. Trust now:
              the body will know what I am
and what to do about it.

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