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Alan Humm: a poem



Summer, newly over


It was like staring into a full glass

but then the sun went in. Each leaf has passed

through glory to something like lovelessness:

drowsing lead.


The bearded man in a print dress

flirts with a plastic duck

then gives it up; pushes

against the folds as though

he's striding, barefoot, through a lake.

His belly bullies his belt.


"I prefer forgiveness," she says.

She presents the bright tilt, like a lit candle,

of her neck. The coins we spilt

are hidden by the flowers; the coins' opposite.


A dog reads midges

like foreign type.


I want to close my eyes and listen

to the words. Just that: the words.

Still there, they gesture

out towards me, waiting

for me to close the circle.


When we destroyed the nest

how did the wasp feel, nagging

the wood?




This poem is from A Brief and Biased History of Love, published by Culture Matters. Alan Humm is the editor of One Hand Clapping.

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