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September 6, 2013 by The Citron Review

By Rae Gouirand

That softness after scratch:
I beg the planes of me I can’t

be touched as. Take thorns
for hands, thorns in

my mane, wear them from
collarbones made

by addition. Say thorns for you
& mean just that. Forged

as agreement in that snag.
Between you & I, let

there be one stem, no bouquet
of them, barbs

and nothing more—just this
understanding we

count for everything. There are
blooms I cannot take in

that I want impressed,
permanent. Like this tiny split

& what shocked, clear
shine springs out of it.

Rae Gouirand’s first collection of poetry, Open Winter, was selected by Elaine Equi for the 2011 Bellday Prize, won an Independent Publisher Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and was a finalist for the Montaigne Medal, the Audre Lorde Award, and the California Book Award for poetry. Her poems and essays appeared most recently in American Poetry ReviewHandsomeVOLT[PANK] onlineThe BrooklynerGertrude, and The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide.


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