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You knock my socks off. I mean
when I'm sitting on the grass

I need my feet bare, and the inchworms
mulling the dirt of me, of you, I've carried

in my pockets in my hair in my nailsó
I've heard there's not enough of you

that soon I'll be through with you
or I'm covered in stuff we call dark

matter and the energy is pulling us through
emptiness. The reason I'm here

and you. From my balcony I hear
construction workers singing on a rooftop,

their hammers against wood, against nails.
I've felt Atlas carrying you

the way I've carried
love, the way I've carried my dead

and buried them back to you, inchworms
in the grass. I mean we're in the dark

here. I mean I'm holding us.

Jennifer Givhan

Protection Spell
The University of Arkansas Press

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