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At the end of the text, a small bestial form


This is the glimpse of the god you were never supposed to get.
Like the fox slipping into the thicket.
Like the thief in the night outside the window. The cool
gray dorsal fin in the distance. Invisible
mountain briefly visible through the mist
formed of love and guilt.

And the stranger's face hidden in the family picture. The one

imagining her freedom, like

the butterfly blown against the fence
in her best yellow dress
by the softest breeze of summer:

To have loved
and to have suffered. To have waited
for nothing, and for nothing to have come.

And the water like sleek black fur combed back that afternoon:

The young lovers rowed a boat. The boy
reeled in a fish. The husband
smiled, raising
a toast.

While the children grew anxious
for dinner. While something
struggled under the water
bound by ropes.
And the warm milk dribbled down the sick man's chin.
And the wife, the mother, the daughter, the hostess, and those
few people on earth she would ever
wish were dead
would be the ones she loved the most.


Laura Kasischke

New England Review

Volume 32, Number 4 / 2011-2012


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