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Banished Wonders.

 The American linden sways nonplussed by the storm,
     a bounce here, a shimmy there, just shaking like music
left over from the night's end wafting into the avenues before
sleep.
     I remember once walking down Clinton Street, and singing
that line returning, New York is cold, but I like where I'm living.
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.
 And of
         course
there was music, though it was me and my incessant remembering.
     And here now, what does one even offer?
Darling Cockroaches of the Highest Order, hard underthings
     of hard underworlds, I am utterly suspicious of advice.
What is the world like out there? Are you singing in the tunnels?
I should say nothing sometimes.
I should say, Memory will leap from the mountain.
     Dearest purple spiderwort in the ditch's mud, how did you do
it?
Such bravery, such softness, even with all that name calling and rage.
No one wants to be a pretty thing all the time. But no one wants to be
     the weed. Alone in Argentina at a cafe, I never felt like dancing,
I
       screwed
my face up so it said nothing and no one and never. Borges was losing
     his sight, and yet sometimes it is best to be invisible.
What is it to be seen in the right way? As who you are? A flash of
color,
     a blur in the crowd,
     something spectacular but untouchable.
And now the world is gone. No more Buenos Aires or Santiago.
     No tango, no samba. No more pisco sours sweet and sticky
and piercing the head's stubborn brick.
Mistral writes: We don't need all the things that used to give us
     pleasure.
     Still some dumb desire, to sneak into the cities of the world
again, a window, to sit at Cafe Tortoni and refuse an invitation
because I can. Now we endure.
Endure time, this envenomed veil of extremes--loss and grief and
     reckoning.
Mistral writes: I killed a woman in me: One I did not love.
 But I do
     not want to kill that longing woman in me. I love her and I want
her to
       go on longing
until it drives her mad, that longing, until her desire is something
like a blazing flower, a tree shaking off
     the torrents of rain as if it is simply making music.

Ada Limon, a current Guggenheim fellow, is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book, Bright Dead Things, was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Title Annotation:FIVE POEMS
Author:Limon, Ada
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:0LATI
Date:Nov 1, 2020
Words:527
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