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Mark Seidl


That it's as much of the sky

     as you, in your get-up

          of wrong-side Civil War

cap and cowboy boots,

     how the sky, the blue

          live air, shapes itself

around you and you shape it

     to yourself, the way river

          and bank collude to inflect—

that's how, when this come out

     of the box of things you keep

          because you love the ones

who gave them, you will know

     that to hold one day apart

          from all the rest, to remind

you of a place you were,

     wasn't the point, but that I,

          for a moment, was looking.

But Ohio

Just saying it lets you down,

that first O a delicious round

of surprise like the mouth

of a girl whose arm you brush

against in the hall between

Spanish and algebra, whose

perfume you inhale through

the conjugations, and who turns

with a hi bright as a cigarette's

burning tip behind the bleachers, 

as if you are the one whose

touch she wants against her

lambswool sleeve, and then

that final falling o, her lips 

curling to a pout as she sees

it's you, all neck and bedhead,

bent into your slouch

like a pipe-cleaner unglued

from its art-class trial.

Mark Seidl lives in New York's Hudson Valley, where he works as a rare books librarian—the best job in the world! His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Two Hawks Quarterly, Belle Ombre, and Hotel Amerika.

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