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J U N E   1 9 9 2

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by Christopher Jane Corkery

Hear Christopher Jane Corkery read this poem (in RealAudio):

RA 28.8, RA 14.4

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Also by Christopher Jane Corkery:
Central and Main (1996)
Jigsaw Puzzle in Pregnancy (1994) Patio (1990)

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Love took the words right out of my mouth.
Not the making of love, the clinging and plunge,
The tongue's deep spiral, but the acts of days,
The sun up and down, the dish and the pot,
The light on the head of first one, then another,
The stairs unswept, the bed cold, the light out,
The papers brought in, the bed made, the money
Paid out, the bulbs dug, the children reverent
At what came next, the rise and the fall
Of coral and ocher, the folding and sorting,
The endless numbering of things, the walking
With babies in slings, in backpacks, in strollers,
Then hand in hand, then the hand dropped
And one of them up to my shoulder, eyeing,
Before I do, the hawk or the waxwing,
The junco, the hermit thrush in the depths
Of our gun-shot city, and just to the south
The great hill we climb, by season, together,
Alone, in pairs, in trios, the slapping
Of mud from our shoes on the back steps again,
The chastening memory of the otter plunging
In the icy water of his adequate tank
At the base of that hill, and love made the otter,
Love made the mud, the ice-slicked bark,
The meals, the shining heads, and the sleep,
The risings, the children, the hawk's spiral.
Love took the words right out of my mouth.

Copyright 1992 by Christopher Jane Corkery. All rights reserved.
Originally published in
The Atlantic Monthly, June 1992.

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