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(new american poets of the ’90s)

 

In This His Suit

 

Not his clothes, but their chimerical creases.

not his body, but the gestures ofhis body

worn last and put unpressed

into its plastic. not the hand,

but how he held it, palm buttressing head.

Not the meat, not words, but grace; not the mouth,

but the smoke, scratches on a plate, the

table’s dulled edge.

Not absence, not presence. not indentation,

but impression. Not not, but not is ; not either

or neither. The hose’s curve, the garden’s

mounds, the slab walk’s slope, the smell of the smell,

the sound of the sound, the book’s missing page

found in another book.

Not the death, but his dying.

Not male, not female, not young, old , compassionate,

bitter, peaceful or sorrowed.

Not the life, but the living.

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