Winter 2009 • Vol. XXXI No. 1 Poetry |

Conquest

Speaking to himself, I think, not me, You have wantedmore than was yours to wish for, he said—as if evento wishing the laws of modesty and excess could be applied,and should be. We slept. I dreamed.We'd swornnever to do harm; then sworn instead to keep trying hardnot to—A kind      of progress …   ▪ ▪             In the dream, he was powerful:a hawk,   or hawk-like—this time, easily distinguishablefrom the gentler animals and that relentlessness with which,like beaten slaves by now          used to it, they rise, and they fall.

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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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