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Saints and Cigarettes
by Lisa Wible
(for Gordon)

"He is a letter to everyone. You open it. It says live." - Rumi

Friend, it's the hour
of stillness and
there are miles to travel
before entering the tavern
where no one
is drinking wine.
Nothing is how
I'd imagined -
not the tomato plants
sprouting in the kitchen,
not the names on the door
which do not announce
the residents as they are -

A half moon
sliced over the roof
across the street
tonight as I lay awake
with mirrors,
looking again,
it is possible
to lie in poetry
just as I lay
in bed -
it is possible
the street light cuts out
when I weep
and comes alive
again as I breathe
deeply, silently.

A life can feel so large
when you're a seedling
in the corner
of a kitchen
that some strange woman
stunning your room
with premature dawn.

You don't object.

Ants scatter
about their business
on the newspaper
as she writes,
drifiting with her fire,
as ever,
where to go from here.

You are the heart
of these ruminating lines
drawn spent
pondering saints and cigarettes,
remembering who we were,
tasting the flesh of apples,
and how we're all connected

Plant the garden deep,
as deep as roots may grow,
which means how well
you bury them.

How can I glorify the basement
except by praising
who is in it?
The way I know you
dances there
gifts of the spirit
glow above the face
that bears your eyes -
all eyes -
witnessing everything
that cannot be spoken
beneath this lottery
of stars.

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