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Three Poems


[consider the olive: it gnarls as it grows]

         (

consider the olive: it gnarls as it grows
into itself / a veritable thicket / it throws

         (

up obstacles to the light to reach
the light / a crooked path in the air

         (

while beneath our sight it wrestles the rock
wrests water from whatever trickles

         (

beneath / it doesn't worry it looks like hell
refuses to straighten for anyone

         (

each spring offers itself sweet to be eaten
first brambles / then olives


[scarved sisters are radiant with wide]

         )

scarved sisters are radiant with wide
mouths & waves & teeth & singing

         )

& though there is the great unhappiness
framed in silent unsmiling faces

         )

hammered on insides of houses
watching over all preparations

         )

night is lifting the women
are drumming the tabla their voices inviting

         )

a heart to break itself & open
a space another could nest inside


[because there is a word for love in this tongue]

         )

because there is a word for love in this tongue
that entwines two people as one

         )

& there is a word for love in this tongue
that nests in the chambers of the heart

         )

& a word for love in this tongue that wanders
the earth, for love in this tongue in which you lose

         )

yourself in this tongue & a word that carries
sorrow within its vowels & a word for love

         )

that exudes from your pores & a word
for love that shares its name with falling


Philip Metres

A Concordance of Leaves
Diode Editions


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