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Élan Vital

In case you can imagine
a time when the cattail
marsh goes silent
and blackbirds
forget to flex their
red-winged armor
and insects
no longer live
to flicker
like ghosts adrift
in slants of crepuscular
light, beg the wind
which right now
sucks your hair
out the window
of this speeding
red car
while one hand
strives to gather
and the other
to control
to keep pumping
the bellows
fueling whatever it is
that keeps us aflame,
tongues licking
for its fire.

Denise Banker

Swimming the Colorado
Empty Bowl Press

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