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Michael Bazzett
How exactly did we get here? they muttered. All our lives we opened for others, yet now it seems life’s just begun—

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Celia Dropkin (translated from the Yiddish by Faith Jones, Jennifer Kronovet, & Samuel Solomon)
A fear was growing in my heart: I smelled the putrid odor of my grave around me.

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In “A Fear Growing in My Heart,” the speaker fears her oncoming death, finds it ridiculous and sad that while there is silk around her now, there will be none in the grave. But then the speaker says to herself, “your limbs are like limbs carved/from ivory.” This simile speech act not only quells her fear, but also saves her from dying. By transforming herself in words into something fashioned from the materials of another creature, she saves herself.

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Brooke Ellsworth
What if for a moment we stirred that future

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Jennifer Polson Peterson
sad every afternoon of my life. Outside a child runs in the grass. Soon I will appear and call her to me.

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Marianne Boruch
As for the magpies, their livers surely tried to clear, to strain the poison. Fast or slow, the birds, I bet— how many?—flew just fine for a while in screechy loops. Then to fall, to try up again. And failing.

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Alice Fulton
Here in the north of north everything was formed by what ice did to the land, and darkness is redundant.

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