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by Joy Ladin

September 24, 2013 | 3:12 pm

Yes, it’s true, I’ve lost
The world you gave me,
The blue and luminous world,
Round as a marble,
In which, if I squinted,
I could always see you
Shimmering in slow oxbows,
Mirroring the river’s
Mallard iridescence, sketching your face
In castellated clouds
And sidewalk cracks
And the twitchy industry of ants’
Insatiable hunger to scour
Your every cleft and crevice.
The rain rained down pieces of you
That made everything whole
Even as you shattered, shining
Like a bandsaw, trembling
Like dew on blades of grass,
Fitting my nostrils to your nostrils, filling
My breath with your breath.

Previously published in “Psalms” (Wipf & Stock, 2010).


Joy Ladin, Gottesman Professor of English at Yeshiva University, is the author of six books of poetry, most recently “The Definition of Joy,” Forward Fives award winner “Coming to Life,” Lambda Literary Award finalist “Transmigration,” “Alternatives to History,” “The Book of Anna” and “Psalms.” Her memoir, “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders,” was a finalist for a 2012 National Jewish Book Award, and a Forward Fives winner.

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