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Watching a Found Memory From the City of I
by Ephraim Scott Sommers

As a boy, behind the house,
I crawled among an army

Of caterpillars inching along an open field at dawn.
Like a hundred index fingers,

They curled and extended, curled
And extended, and pointed me

Eventually to my brother's body
Sinking into the scrub brush.

The addict's waxed paper, the head's
Orange beanie, the artist's hollowed ballpoint—

Jonah's things
drowsed about
The wet meadow, strung out on needles

Of grass. Blades brushed away the dew
Lulling on his soft tissue. A thousand funeral lilacs

And oleanders listened, each with an ear peeled
As my mother's howl flooded the highest

Corners of our marble church, but flowers
And bodies cannot fill the cathedral

Like a voice, like recollection. The summer butterflies beat
At our screen doors even now. Let us let them in.

And keep them. And name them. Every one.


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