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Nava EtShalom

1

I woke up from marrying my father;
the window let in a little streetlamp shine.

None of us knew what time it was.
The streetlamp thought three. The boy

thought morning, and started to wake.
I laughed. We returned to sleep slowly,

mouth to ear, and the marriages continued.

2

I was writing a poem when a boy blew up
and my fingers stopped on “matching boots.”

Nobody has company now; what’s one
lost body that was warm in my bed,

quilting a night of bad weddings?

3

I try to stay in sleep
where there is at least my body.

My temporary teeth, his neat hands,
an argument, a draft.

Waking I say I must
have imagined the weddings.

These pageants, these men, these buildings—
they go brightly on without me.

from the book THE KNIVES WE NEED / Carnegie Mellon University Press
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