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Ioanna Carlsen


Forgiveness


I.

I can only imagine it.

You ask me for it —
I deny you three times.

The cock crows.
We marry.

I forget
what there is to forgive,

and you forgive, like always, yourself.


II.

I'm there —

I half expect to be killed
by things you have done,

yet live on.

There must be muteness in it —
pain swallowed,
harm choked on,

all this injury cast up in bones and fossil.
Clouds sailed away.
Worlds forgot.


III.

THE TRICK

You would
if you could,
but what if you can't —

the trick is to believe
your own story,

accident is needed for some kinds of change.


IV.

INFINITE NUMBER

I never forgive

and that's how I recognize it.

By what I don't do
and can't, but must,
I know what it is.

Death thinks,
all things do
what they have to

for giving

give up


V.

FORGIVENESS AND LUCK

It's a streak of luck,
a comet that lands
in the middle of what was
and what is
and blots it all out —
it's more than repression,
beyond amnesia:
it's oblivion,
a new world.

Submitted: Monday, April 23, 2012

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