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A Fiction

May 9, 2013

This is a piece I wrote as an undergrad, and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s modeled after Louise Glück. 



I followed you, fevered and stumbling.

My hands clutched and clutched

after you, catching air.

Intolerable to think that now


you will elude me forever, for all

the miles I may cross. 

There is a rhyme I recall about the miles

to Babylon, about getting there

by candlelight, yes — and back again.



In my fantasy you are moving

as mist through a field,

brass buttons on your coat, a dark

body against the light. The intolerable


light! Maybe it is not the light —

it is the candle drip of hot

wax on my wrist,  it is the pity

of a single candle on a dark road.


Maybe it has all turned macabre –

the trees in the king’s gardens

dangle blue-faced men and half-rotted


rope. Maybe it is all a fiction, the world

didn’t end. It is early spring,

a Sunday, and you are alone


in some empty veldt, and there:

shapes wavering and forlorn against

the trees at the edge of the clearing,


flickers of light against the dark.

You cross to them silent,

determined.  Maybe I did not follow,


but turn my face from this place —

avoiding sharp stones,

the bones and brass buttons in the field.


Comments and constructive criticism always welcome. 

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