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OpenAthens Shibboleth
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msJAMA
February 5, 2003

Yesterday the Mailbox

JAMA. 2003;289(5):616. doi:10.1001/jama.289.5.616

IV
The drunk I passed was propped;
the lamp post crooked his neck.
It lent his breath a nightly buzz,
powered his voice with public watts
from a still and opened mouth.
The light shadowed his closed eyes—
so much he cared not to see,
like you smiling
in the dark ahead.
I tried to follow on the way home,
but like the moon,
you receded splendidly.
The air was bright,
and my eyes were clear.
III
I'll sweat my dreams tonight
in cool pools lit by the moon,
sink my arms elbow deep
to clasp your hands and pull
you, your wrists, your face,
your bare shoulders,
skin taut and beaded by the lake
out, aboard and with me.
The air will be bright,
and your eyes will be clear.
II
I have given my mornings a stern lesson:
This is no time to remind.
Or the locks of unwound wicker
on the backs of chairs
to be without the curl of fingers.
Or the door jamb,
painted smooth as skin,
without a last touch of exit.
The air is bright through the window
and on the kitchen table.
My eyes are clear
but without you to follow,
have no movement.
I
Your letter has been received
and duly noted.

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