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J U N E   1 9 9 2

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by Jessica Hornik

audioear picture Hear Jessica Hornik read this poem (in RealAudio).

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Jessica Hornik:
The Closed Forest (1994)
The Invisible Woman (1998)

Go to:
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    Learn to be grateful for armchairs, where you fit
like a nut in its shell. Consider that plum blossoms
    happen twice: once in the vase, once as shadow.
And these double windows and quadruple doors --
    all have been constructed to slow the passage
of air, feet, time. You come through
    in the morning and by afternoon, the day is
something: a shadow's inches, a stanza, an emptied
    coffee cup.

    And things have their correspondences:
Cézanne's boy always walks toward you
    like the future. The chairs' foreheads
gentle the clamor of unobserved cells in a room --
    as the face of your beloved
answers for all of you.

Between the eye and its sighted object
    a chronicle of personality takes place.
All you need to know about me
    is I love the piled-on rectangles of a room,
a window admitting the hill's diagonal,
    birches' white strokes on a green band.
Nearsighted eyes arrange the page
    at a slant, which the heart interprets as stairs.

Jessica Hornik is a poet whose work has appeared in Poetry,The Yale Review,andThe New Republic.
Copyright © 1992 by Jessica Hornik. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; June 1992; Gratitude; Volume 269, No. 6; page 86.

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