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Same Summer in a Different Year.


   And to our ear, the words sale
   And sail are pronounced the same,
   And this is the same boat we rented
   Before, before the first window
   Opened on the old house, before
   The glass was forever scratched,
   Before its latch broke off in our
   Hands, and it, like some thought,
   Would never shut again. Try
   Putting patience in an empty
   Bucket, or try to wear forever
   The death scarf taken as a souvenir
   From someone whose last thoughts
   Were of starving of something,
   Or simply staring at the curtain
   In the breeze, the open window,
   The world outside of us,
   The ensemble of late, great sounds,
   The upupa's wobbly flight into
   The flowering acacias, all flair and
   All plume, or the spoon's sound
   In the empty bowl, crutched in
   Its limitless clinking. The second
   Thought has to always follow
   The first, frisked and shamed and
   Absolutely hiding nothing as
   Original as change, the faint bloom
   Of those we were sure had died,
   We had been to see them off to
   Their own deaths, more of the same,
   The same ground holding a different
   Body, shovel slashing earth, a mound
   The rain eventually flattens, like
   Flatter, like a false friend. But let's
   Think the worst, that we didn't
   Change planes, that the garden
   Didn't like being a garden any
   Longer but had no way of telling
   Us that, and there's Mahmoud
   Darwish, dead and done for, four
   Commemorative stamps on a letter
   Still on a desk, that we're thinking
   Will someone at least please send
   It! Let it travel in someone's pouch
   To some other part of the world,
   The opposite of world, where we
   Wander like postulants, reading
   The same word again and again.
   It's the again we want to gainsay
   But can't, turning off the flashlight
   And thinking again we can see,
   If we really want to, in the dark,
   Seeing something sempiternal,
   Lacking sameness, a pair of shoes
   Washed up by a wave, our size,
   But where would we walk in
   Them, where would they take
   Us that we really wanted to go,
   Stepping over a stream, we who
   Once read all that the wind wrote,
   Water boiling in a clay pot and
   Summer heat, the heart having
   Failed we can't bring ourselves to
   Write about, the long absence
   Of death, and then death, like
   A clean cloth on the window,
   Wet hands wringing out the scene.

Awakening of all things, spiral failure (to deceive); lebensraum, life space (taking Poland); spinal; the new and the more of the same; the same boat we rented before; the words sale and sail are pronounced the same; lack of same, simultaneous, ensemble, assemble; sempre, sempiternal; anacoluthon, abrupt change in syntax in a sentence; semplice, hamadryad, same summer in a different year; sand blind, semi-blind, sentient, changeover, clang, clang; changed the yard into a garden, a light that changes color; change planes; after Mahmoud Darwish's death: four commemorative postage stamps

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Article Details
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Author:Mayes, Edward
Publication:Colorado Review: A Journal of Contemporary Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jun 22, 2013
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