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 And then there were those winters in Berkeley (if you can call
them winters) rain falling sideways against the brown shingled houses
along Benvenue, La Mediterranee with its little wrought iron tables
covered in tile. Sipping hot lemon chicken soup and reading Vonnegut. I
loved the decay of Telegraph Avenue, its street vendors hawking cheap
silver pendants, the old Gypsy whose name meant "good with
horses" who told me someday I'd have a string of feminine men
as lovers. Across the world, the wall was falling in Germany, the Soviet
Union collapsing. Men and women with PhDs and Russian accents arrived
selling colorful scarves and offering to do odd jobs. What I remember is
walking into the wind, holding my wool coat tight around my chest--how
you could almost feel the world tilting on its axis right beneath your
feet. I'd pass the ramshackle cottages off Euclid with their dark
rooms, and disarray of roses and dream of the lives hidden within.
It's not that I was happy. I was too young to be happy, knew only
its first blush not the darker tones that come after and give it shape.
But somehow I found the small, almost unnoticeable gateways that led
there: the torn edge of a baguette, hot from the oven, the acrid smell
of the gingko when you walk underneath and step on the broken pods.
Sitting at Roma, watching a beautiful man lean over a pile of textbooks
as he sips his coffee and almost, but doesn't quite, lift his head
to see you. 

Danusha Lameris's work has been published or is forthcoming in The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, The Gettysburg Review, and New Letters. Her first book, The Moons of August (2014), was chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye as the winner of the Autumn House Press poetry prize and was a finalist for the Milt Kessler Book Award. She's at work on her next manuscript, Bonfire Opera.

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Title Annotation:four poems
Author:Lameris, Danusha
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:May 1, 2017
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