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December 1, 2014 by The Citron Review

by Kathleen Boyle


From the bitter desert follow, for a while,
Those who turn right off their routes,

Those who stack their things toward the sky.
They go down formed to the left, to the

River that rushes to make the ocean and the devil, the boxes,
The red things, the boats, the gamblers.

Keep your head about you: this bridge aches; follow
The last, ignore the pitch and the silt. On the map

Of the place the cranes are luminous.
Then come other ghosts, in from the drier side.

Pilgrims from the border routes carry their small bouquets,
Atrocious flowers pinned to their hearts.

Are we dammed to possessions? No, we say,
We would rather receive the mahogany

Music. Nothing can be too open,
And if open is unacceptable, study the stars,

Study especially the first planet to rise.
The other morning, the hammerstrokes

Of your cleats on what once was snow. Carry with you
These green books, these ices, the perfume of the polar sun.


Kathleen Boyle’s poetry has appeared in Zyzzyva, Poet Lore, the Bellingham Review, and numerous other literary journals. She recently moved into a house with a resident persimmon tree and is eagerly awaiting the fruit’s ripening.


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