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Poor Substitute

Our long lost brother watches windows

and, directing us to look up, we follow his

gaze to high above, into the indigo sky.

Together we all acknowledge the sudden

desire: to shatter the glass again and flutter up,

the stress in the groin sustains its pressure,

fearful of lust we gather as a flock, our eyes

closed, stand on tiptoe with little better to do,

seal our lips to the glass. We are distant kin,

orphans and prodigal sons, who open the bedroom

doors and glide down corridors, submerged

in moonlight striking the lips and cheeks,

onto last month’s magazines, the carpet,

across the back of the armchair, a girl forged

of doorknocker brass who carries a bucket

with no bottom, constant as a migraine, restless

as desire, embers sift over the roofs of our

neighborhood, replace our heartbeat with names

of the lost, who have found a home somewhere else,

as a brother finds his sister—it’s her I think of.

maybe you do too, when muscle tightens in a silver

line. I’m sorry no one noticed her out here.

from Without AnesthesiaFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2011
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Ales Debeljak Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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