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Carl Phillips

  • PoetryJanuary 16, 2003

    The Rest of Love

    The hive is for where
    the honey was.
    Was findable there,

    then not.
    Sometimes, I think I dreamed it,
    or I am saying it like a thing

    Carl Phillips

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  • PoetryMay 23, 2002


    There is a difference it used to make,
    seeing three swans in this versus four in that
    quadrant of sky. I am not imagining. It was very large, as its
    effects were. Declarations of war, the timing fixed upon for a sea-departure; or,
    about love, a sudden decision not to, to pretend instead to a kind
    of choice. It was dramatic, as it should be. Without drama,
    what is ritual? I look for omens everywhere, because they are everywhere
    to be found. They come to me like strays, like the damaged,
    something that could know better, and should, therefore--but does not:
    a form of faith, you've said. I call it sacrifice--an instinct for it, or a habit at first, that
    becomes required, the way art can become, eventually, all we have
    of what was true. You shouldn't look at me like that. Like one of those saints
    on whom the birds once settled freely.

    Carl Phillips