By Katherine Soniat
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Additional info for A shared life: poems
Such poignancy vanished in the corn heat. I cross the doorsill for shade, wind the clock, Page 16 each tick setting aside the moist familiarity of offspring. I've tried to give you the scent, and you ask why I look at you like this. Page 17 Desire An April bear plunges spray from the watercress stream hunger, the first awakening of any. His yellow teeth open, flash with it, and the seasons pass away. Finally, it was all like being hungry, and afterwards, the winter sleep. Page 19 TWO Page 21 Janus in Autumn The hornets enter this dark nest filled with one great hum.
So we make the stars talk about us. I picture the rising, floating dead. But dirt weights the fields above the dead, and starlight holds only the polish of what's gone. That time I first looked at you closely, you called it desire, and I reached my hand out into the thick of it. Perhaps it was that November, when alone at the window I watched the afternoons mass themselves like rain washing down a smoky day. Or maybe this heat never was mine, and memory got it backwards in its own territorial way, insisting it was me, of course, I was there when indeed it was sundown for some painter needing warmth so much, he crossed from the window and stroked it in, turning it out as great clouds of colored smoke I took as mine.
54 dc2093-13695 CIP 97 96 95 94 93 P 5 4 3 2 1 Page v For Rick, and for Catawba Page vii Since the wild animal's back now is your shoulder, And since the miracle of not-being is finished, Start then, poet, a song at the edge of it all To death, to silence, and to what does not return. Antônio Machado Page ix CONTENTS One Right Here, 3 The Future, 4 Fortune, 5 Domestication, 7 What We Keep, 8 Telling Time, 9 Oranges and Rum at Noon, 11 Balboa in Spring, 12 Some Vegetables and Stars, 13 Story Line, 14 Water Translation, 15 Desire, 17 Two Janus in Autumn, 21 Gifts, 22 Making Ghosts, 24 In a Dark Country Night, 25 Last Song, 27 Mount View Pure, 28 Other People's Houses, 30 Item, 33 Graffiti, 34 Learning in Time, 35 A Square in Mozambique, 36 A Comparable Season, 39 Three Routing the Maps Home, 43 The Next Day, 45 Deer Season Again, 46 Taking Possession, 48 Crivelli's Pietà Angel, 49 Full Grown, 51 A Short History of Stray Bullets, 52 Diminutives, 54 Two Daughters, 56 War, 58 Marks of Light, 59 Four Primer, 65 Free-falling, 66 Rhapsody, 68 From a Vantage Point Overlooking the Battle of Hanging Rock, 69 Rings, 71 Distance and Design, 73 Daughter, 74 Primary Motif, 75 Prediction, 76 Shame, 77 Page x Five Terrestrial, 81 October Bestiary, 82 Think about It, 84 Bedside Story, 86 Santa Rosa Island, 87 Wanting It, 88 Harboring, 89 Secrets about Nothing, 91 In Spite of Forgetting, 93 The Springhouse, 96 A Shared Life, 97 Page xi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many thanks to the editors of the following journals in which these poems first appeared.
A shared life: poems by Katherine Soniat