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Late Valentine

We weren’t exactly children again,

too many divorces, too many blood panels,

but your leaning into me was a sleeping bird.

Sure, there was no way to be careful enough,

even lightning can go wrong but when the smoke

blows off, we can admire the work the fire’s done

ironing out the wrinkles in favor of newer ones,

ashy furrows like the folds in the brain

that signal the switchbacks and reversals

of our thought and just as brief. Your lips

were song, your hair everywhere.

Oh unknowable, fidgeting self, how little

bother you were then, no more

than a tangerine rind. Oh unknowable

other, how I loved your smell.

from Fall HigherFind it in the library

Copyright © 2011 Dean Young
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Dean Young 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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