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Bardo
by Dana Levin

You don’t have to break it. Just give it a little
tap.

tap tap. See,

there’s the crack. And if you pry it a little
with the flat end of that spoon,

you’ll be able to slip yourself through.


--


To the woods where you’re walking. Crushed ice above you
like a layer of sky--

Some sun under it making it gleam.

Some snow under it bloodless and bright

in the fissured heart, the winter morgue of its imagined
land.


--


Where you can find her--

Sprawled, face down, in the snow--

Bracing herself up, a puff of ice at her chin, then seizing
and dying all over again--

Automaton. You prop her up.

And it’s like shaking a doll, How dare it, How dare it--

What


--


good is she for, there in her dying machine?

You push her shoulders back against the trunk of the tree,
her chest’s so cold it cracks—

so you can slip yourself through.

To the woods she’s been walking,
wondering where the living have gone.



Poem available in Salmagundi No. 150-151.
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