Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2000 |

Recumbent

Here, the ribs end, they---divide, into double fans. Splay. And fall. I believe the pictures---there must be, therefore, the heart underneath and off-centered, little down-beat, then not. The hair: important, but the eyes more so, and the mouth, even more. Every darkness. The limbs, all along, obvious---arms, legs--- four workable unriddlings I ought notto have had to come to by guessing,---for so long. The brain tonight like a cavernful of small, constant winds in front of which the ten answers to the question what mattered most and, so, defined me? disband, assemble, in no order, any order: ambition; an instinct for correct color; sex---as I want it and, after, as I can give it; music, by which I mean as much water as I do the notes as I do the leaves; fraternity---of love, the one shape I've found not difficult to find always; words, but only when ordered as--as a rule--they have not been; less the truth, than a way to frame it; those losses which

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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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