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On Proclivity

I too have smuggled my life through every conceivable hour—

heard the doorbell and hid, bitten the salt covered lime and my tongue.

I can’t imagine how I should be.


                                                                      Sometimes the wind witnesses

tantrums in me. I walk quickly through alleys,

sneer at strollers— those sorts of things.


                                                                                              The phone

will not ring if I want it to. I will open

                                          the fridge to an absence of milk. These are certainties

regardless of virtue.


                                              I concede that

I’ve been an unforgivable mistress and write

                                             love letters to men who’ve moved away. They

won’t come back, and what’s it matter?

                                             This is love’s venue anyway.


Do the days watch my figure?                      Certainly they’ve changed my face.

Every stroke and scar                is an Indian summer

I’ll never feel.                                    I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything.

The seasons are specifying forever, lifting their tattoos.
Posted 10/28/10
The first line of this poem is a variation on/response to a line in Mary Ruefle's "From Memory." I love her poem and wanted to confess here that I am a thief.
Books by Sally Delehant
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