Clean

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Hear the author read this poem

Still, against the heavy wind,
the spoon of cherry wood

no longer moves
the liquid in the pot.

Locked in the lamplight sweat
of the eternal night winter,

the disturbed quiet is quite safe—
suffocates the closed room.

Looking out, all that can be
seen is a knothole in the oak tree.

Gone is the fig, the oyster, the mango,
the red candle—its wick.

Gone is the bean, the blackberry, the carrot,
the parsnip, the horn of the rhinoceros.

The cupboard is both
emptied and latched.

The man in his blister heat
will not come back.

The kitchen is so clean,
everything’s in its nook.

Susan Hahn's recent collections include Mother in Summer (2002), Self/Pity (2005), and the forthcoming The Scarlet Ibis. She is the editor of TriQuarterly.
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