Spring 2005 • Vol. XXVII No. 2 Poetry |

Radiance versus Ordinary Light

Meanwhile the sea moves uneasily, like a man who suspects what the room reels with as he rises into it is violation—his own: he touches the bruises at each shoulder and, on his chest,             the larger bruise, star-shaped, a flawed star, or hand, though he remembers no hands, has tried—can't remember …               That kind of rhythm to it, even to the roughest surf there's a rhythm findable, which is why we keep coming here, to find it, or that's what we say. We dive in and, as usual,                 the swimming feels like that swimming the mind does in the wake of transgression, how the instinct to panic at first slackens that much more quickly, if you don't look back. Regret,         like pity, changes nothing really, we say to ourselves and, less often, to each other, each time swimming a bit farther,           leaving the shore the wa

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Carl Phillips
Carl Phillips is the author of thirteen books of poems, most recently Reconnaissance (FSG, 2015). He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

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