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Published: Wed Oct 15 1975
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
AGNI 4 Home Loss Relationships
The Day You Were Leaving

the lock stuck on the attic door,
a bolt slipped into gear for the last
act, the forked dark under the rafters
closed on itself. I took to my bed,
ice pack heavy on lids as shot
driven through holes in the skull
or weight slung from crossed winter limbs.
Someone who put on my old voice from a drained
throat said lines you wanted to hear. Smoke
collapsed around hair that clung
to the brush. Ash drifted sill and floor
from trays left to please empty themselves, the days
and the night you were leaving.

See what's inside AGNI 4
Online 2023 Family Home Loss
Cycles Like a Shapeless Child
Online 2023 Loss Relationships War
You traveled to the end of the world
by Daniela Danz
Translated from the German by Monika Cassel
AGNI 96 Home Nature Loss
AGNI 91 Home Loss Youth

Madeline Defrees is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently Spectral Waves (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) and Possible Sybils: New Poems (Lynx House Press, 2006). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. She currently lives in Seattle. (updated 6/2010)

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