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Commitment to a Fog

       for Jean-Jacques Boin


as it rolls in on a downdraft
and settles in the nooks and flats
of the lower hills, their green saddles, and then
comes that slow spilling into the gorge-rent valley.

One could inhale such fog
and be healthier for it;

I mean, to paraphrase the man tied up for his own good,
my mind is fog-bound, the foreground's enshrined
and the background is all pastel under a spell of gray:
no telling if they're houses out there or foggy notions.

I've inhaled the better part
of a year of fog and that might be a decade.

I mean, in the language of fog,
the indistinct seems particular
and all the dead—so bright and sharp, so clear-headed,
so loved in their lifetimes, are caught again in my fog
as if I'd given them my condition.


Barry Wallenstein

Drastic Dislocations: New and Selected Poems
NYQ Books


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