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Her First Love
by J.Brian Long

To understand, you must first know rain.
It must be autumn, and the low tone of dusk
chanting close in the leaves. You must have

fathered many sorrows, but only one daughter,
and remember her small in the bend of your arm,
think back to some quick kiss of shadow

long since lengthened past you in the light
of a few (O, many. Many?) years. You must
wonder who she is there in the lace folds

of the curtain, who she has become in the long fall
and sigh of the drape. You must forget you were
ever God. Be lost, yes. Be tired and far-wandered

and grey. But also, be still: wait with her
in the mothlight one evening rain; watch
behind the pane for the boy come to take her.

Let her rise from you and wander to the edge
of your reach, let them linger alone at the rim
of the sung dark: she will be seventeen years

old, she will have forgotten her divinity,
she will cup her hands to the night, to the rain,
and sigh (more to him or the sky than to you):
             I know this.
      I know how this feels.

Wind Publishing Co.

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