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Fado: Black Boat


If you were there when I woke
With my barbed wire, with my scars
You would avert your green gaze
I would feel the chill of regret.

Though you said something else
In sunlight, over wine.

I saw a cross on a tall rock
And a black boat danced on light
Someone waved, was it you,
A brown arm between white sails.

Old women know
That more go away
Than will ever return
Than the morning has scars.

In the wind as it blows
Wet sand against the panes
On the water that sings
In the fire as it dies
In blue sheets warmed by
Someone sleeping alone
On an empty park bench
When they lock up the square
You are still there

Brown arm green gaze black boat blown sand barbed wire.


Marilyn Hacker

New Letters

Volume 77, Nos. 3 & 4


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