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Kate Northrop


Late Aubade & Explanation


Once in a field, in a wide rising stretch of paintbrush
& purple vetch, we stuck down

a tent, like punctuation, and drank through the evening
our bottle of bad wine. When you looked up,
the weather was holding: a few breezes,

a full moon silvering the flowers

to white. In the distance, I heard the ache
& slide of snow, the beginning of crickets. It was twilight—

the landscape was lifting.



A mountain. The clouds, further up,
came down. A Book of Hours. A tent in which we twisted,
pressed each against the other, drunk

and when I stepped out into the cool
moonlight, there was drifting through the watery
end of the meadow, a deer

pale beneath pines, beneath those soaring
darknessess. Then there was only darkness, the
idea of a deer.

Remember, I never wanted
to be alive, to have
an outline. Better, I knew, to slip

unheld, an opening into mist.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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