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The Totality of Facts


The laughing gull that flew behind the fencepost
and never came out was the beginning
and then a hand smaller than my hand covered Wisconsin
with a gesture for explanation.
In the afternoon there are pauses between the words
through which commas can grow like daisy fleabane.
A fish with an osprey in its back emerges from the Sound
and nothing can be learned by more analysis.
The book of her hair opens to its binding and I leaf through
the glorious pages of appreciation and that's not all.
We could not have turned fast enough to catch
light and leftovers from so much of what happened:
the swift figures behind you like a planet's dark
companion, ships entering and leaving the hall closet
the real and imagined between which is no difference.


Allan Peterson

Fragile Acts
McSweeney's Poetry Series


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