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This poem previously appeared in Alba #4; one of Kathryn's new Internet poems will soon appear in The Magazine of Speculative Poetry.


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by Kathryn Rantala

    I'm sorry, Harry, I can't talk to you now, I'm writing.
    I just can't
    though you linger,
    a swimmer in afternoon,
    out of the sun and clothes
    and full of an end-of-the-day want
    before you are dry.
    Your need sings like notes in your skin,
    a lyric in a place without ears,
    in a place
    where fog birds muffle the beach,
    pulling the water, the shells, the sky
    inside
    where everything in
    is grey
    and everything tightens to words,
    but just not a word for you, Harry,
    not right now,
    and seldom
    ever
    for me,
    where everything in was there,
    the already rhythms,
    the fog-grey frame,
    my own unlimited lack,
    where everything in
    is gone,
    where it knows it should talk,
    but can't,
    where it goes
    and I go
    and where,
    before we can ever come back,
    we are gone,
    I just can't talk when I'm writing.