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A poem by Rich Smith.

I was trying not to have to have
her, but part of me has to. As in,
to hold, yes, and to press up against,
to push up to, to nail to a firm something

and to like the feeling firm. Would
that I saw her sheer soul? A scentless
dryer-sheet mothing up the comforter—
Ah! Already I’ve fucked up! It’s redundant;

for man to recast woman,
to break her into parts, to compare
her last name to the sound of tossed seeds
on sidewalk, her sun-hatted head

to a sudden and welcome parasol
and, yes, her dozing body to a falling
tree only I am hearing. Yes, yes,
I know no part stands in for the whole

expression of a being, the round eye squares off
the round world. But there’s a reason
we’re so box-upable.
And it’s a very good reason:

one of us will need to shove
the other under bed, out of mind,
into coffin, and, in that case,
what lover wouldn’t want to offer

his or her body as handle
so the other could get a grip?

And so I propose
we practice.

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