the dis­ci­pline of se­crets

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - PA­TRICK FRIESEN

she’s not re­turn­ing, she said, not as

a reed or star, hav­ing lived in a colony

of hor­rors, hav­ing kept the dis­ci­pline

of se­crets, and the pa­tience of the first

step up the stairs, that deeper se­cret,

or the wa­ter stairs where lorca sat at

night, blind ar­rows arc­ing over­head,

sat there, with the caprice of eros,

the suf­fer­ance of words, some­thing

akhma­tova knew, hav­ing found her

bal­ance at the edge of the grave, shak­ing

death’s rat­tle at the pres­ence of con­ta­gion,

then, with an easy breath, step­ping out.

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