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by Justen Ahren

A glass of water on the table by the high bed.
The lamp with a cracked shade.
The slanted floor of the room
where, first, I find her socks,

then her dress, where I undressed
my heart with its ghosts could not give.
The glass of water.
The slow burning light

grant me that naked time
her body and mine
her heart felt through my skin—
the machine for remembering

keeps on churning
suffering into grace.
I will persist with my prayers,
but no longer ask for things.


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