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We are not kissing and the river

tricks the boat. Even at night,

colors freeze when they would

rather bleed. He likes delay,

he says, the long ascent to sex.

[first his finger to his lips]

He of the somewhere-wadded-up

mainsail, half hard and too tired

[to the knuckle now] to try—

when in doubt he demurs

then dissolves, spooked

as I and twice as strange.

The glass we handed back

and forth sits on the sill:

mouth- and fingerprints

overlap, more reasonable

as a form of mimesis [out now

and glistening] than simple

trajectory—and what about

the bridge, under which

the boat [back in, slowly,

slowly] has slipped, its

chain of lights, distorted

by the edge of the glass,

just now turned on?

from The Dance of No Hard FeelingsFind it in the library

Copyright © 2009 Mark Bibbins
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Mark Bibbins 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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