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[CHORUS:] Everything is half here

This false world,—allas!—who may it leve?
—Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (II.420)

Everything is half here,
like the marble head
of the Greek warrior
and the lean torso
of his favorite.
The way the funnel cloud
which doesn't seem
to touch ground does—
flips a few cars, a semi—
we learn to walk miles
above our bodies.
The pig farms dissolve,
then the small hills.
As in dreams fraught
with irrevocable gestures,
the ruined set seemed larger,
a charred palace
the gaze tunnels through
and through. How well
we remember the stage—
the actors gliding about
like petite sails, the balustrade
cooling our palms.
Not wings or singing,
but a darkness fast as blood.
It ended at our fingertips.
The fence gave way.
The world began.

Francesca Abbate

Troy, Unincorporated
The University of Chicago Press

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