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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There Come the Helicopters

I should have known by the fawn in the ditch
covered with flies
or the chapel and the bride
and the bluebirds of early May,
by everything I saw that day;

should have known when I saw him,
a flagellant running for pain,
panting O Christ down the sand
in heavy boots to the cross on the point
where he slumped to thank the Lord above.
Every omen was out

in retrospect; his trial was serious. I laughed—
this, some made-up ecstasy
with made-up wails and made-up shivers;
should have thought
Don’t leave him this delirious
next to the river

of what would happen when I walked away,
how a moment of clarity can carry you far, far away

into the reeds now blonder than a year ago,
and water bluer than his eyes.

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