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Laura Cherry

Faults

Sense of smell gone, most of the time, except
on days of a particular grace or drug.
One bum ear, constructed from scraps
like a clay ashtray. Lungs that suddenly fill
and close, except when sighing their great sweetness,
your astonishing gift.

Waking before dawn. A certain restlessness. A certain
propulsion. A hunger. Casting this way and that.
Even now, a wolfishness under the skin.
After the mammalian tears, the clear eye
of the lizard, the skittering limbs
and shed tail.

That head of hair, your breathless corona,
shedding silver. Those devil-like brows.
Hands strong and rough. All the pleasing parts
of you brought to please, as to a banquet
in a dream where I cannot eat so much as
a single bite.

The bright kind of dark. Eyes like clouds
sweeping in over mountains. Now I see:
I was only imagining the long spillway,
the rush to beautiful nowhere, the hidden fault
where the earth might split and we'd take hands
and dive in.

Laura Cherry is the author of the collection Haunts (Cooper Dillon Books) and the chapbooksTwo White Beds (Minerva Rising) and What We Planted (Providence Athenaeum). She co-edited the anthology Poem, Revised (Marion Street Press) with Robert Hartwell Fiske, and her work has been published in journals including The Glacier, Ekphrastic Review, Los Angeles Review, Cider Press Review, and DMQ Review. She earned an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. She works as a technical writer and lives near Boston.

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