Summer 2002 • Vol. XXIV No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2002 |

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1. You winced in the rocking chair, waiting for your water to break. I paced the outer edge of the raffia carpet. A radio was playing, as if there were still news, traffic, war, sports, weather, in that immense city before dawn. But we couldn't break our trance. Saint Luke's was nine blocks away. Sirens peaked and diminished. We couldn't hear them. Our blood hammered in time to the pulse in the other heart.   2. We bundled the newborn over the doorstep into the white room we'd dusted so carefully. We sat on the bed, snow on our lapels, while the child slithered between us with a swimmer's wriggle. Then one boiled water, one swept, one wrapped duct tape around the cord to the lamp, one counted pins, one folded diapers, in absolute silence, not even terrified, as if we were in command, and after a few days the invisible snow stopped, music resumed behind the neighbor's wall, traffic roared again, and always, one held the c

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D. Nurkse is the author of ten collections of poetry, most recently A Night in Brooklyn (Knopf, 2012).

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