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Two Poems

My Love, Don't Believe

My love, don't believe that today
the planet travels on another orbit,
it is the same journey between old
pale stations,
there is always a sparrow flitting
in the flowerbeds
a thought grown stubborn in the mind.
Time turns on the face of the clock, it joins
a trace of fog above the pine trees
the world veers into the regions of cold.
Here are the crumbs on the earth,
the embers in the fireplace,
the wings,
the low and busy hands.

     (From the Italian of Bartolo Cattafi)


Now you'd be three,
I said to myself,
seeing a child born
the same summer as you.

Now you'd be six,
or seven, or ten.
I watched you grow
in foreign bodies.

Leaping into a pool, all laughter,
or frowning over a keyboard,
but mostly just standing,
taller each time.

How splendid your most
mundane action seemed
in these joyful proxies.
I often held back tears.

Now you are twenty-one.
Finally, it makes sense
that you have moved away
into your own afterlife.


Dana Gioia

Pity the Beautiful
Graywolf Press

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