Homily

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Man has the will
to grieve
a week and no longer.

Ever the stranger,
he will kill
with righteous anger.

What does he believe?
In his right to trade
a season of greed

for an hour
of love in an unlit corner.
Such is love’s power,

though it last no longer.

And such is his need
than which nothing is stronger.

David Lehman is the editor of The Oxford Book of American Poetry (2006) and the author of seven collections of poems, including When a Woman Loves a Man (2005).
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