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by Phillip Levine


out of sleep

slips light
slips fingers
under sheets
untangles mine
from yours, out of ours
unfolds me over you onto feet into day (forgive the day)

Hand in hand
on steering wheel steering
big apple into little mirror

We angle east to deep wide open

The Belt loops around it all.
Dry flat womb of Queens, bully chin of Kings
Loosens at Atlantic altars. Avalons:
Gravesend, Sea Gate, Oriental. Bare, bright, Brighton.
Past Amelia's Field to Riis Park, Breezy Point, Seaside, and nearly
Far Rockaway, rockabye

And oh, we used to fish

Aching, arching rods unreeling
slipping line into wave beneath foam
Bending over backward breaking wave
The barb, the tip, the hit

Float and foam and weightless falling
to forever after falling
Toss and twist and turn to falling
to turn
to now
returned to now
to no line, to no reel, to now
to unheld empty hand
to useless elbow, still bending and unbending
to head, to heart, to now, to

Like fish or bait or boot
Kick me. I hunger.
Clams or mussels or abalone
but not fish, never fish, can't risk fish

So peering
over shoulders into other people's buckets
Staring toward Paris from the pier off Coney Island
almost falling




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