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Not quite another season, but almost, & on the window ledges,

  by Monica Berlin

  Not quite another season, but almost, & on the window ledges,

  under eaves, at the threshold of every door, insects gather & crowd,

  trying to come inside. I don’t blame them. So that I can tell you about it,
  I’ve learned to identify each. So I can walk by without cringing, I’ve swept

  them from the porch, vacuumed up their crushed limbs, pulled on gloves
  to carry them away. So that I can better respect them, I’ve memorized

  their true names, apologized to each one. I’ve apologized to my son
  for everything, too: sorry the litter of their bodies, sorry the unrelenting heat,

  sorry the roads we didn’t drive, sorry those trees we lost, sorry how quick this
  stalled & stalling summer, that winter’s coming. Apology is something worth

  practicing, & I’m trying to get it right. Because these days there’s little in me
  that’s unashamed—deep howl of sad, the tinny ring in my ears of sorrow—

  the stretches of listening to nothing but the train’s slow moan & its aching
  stretch through town turn longer. Maybe someday I’ll forget these days so dry

  everything became flammable. Maybe someday I’ll forgive the news that kept us
  up fraying at everything’s hems. Maybe I’ll learn to be grateful for those moments

  when my tongue suddenly tasted copper—my body stunned silent or stunned angry
  or just stunned & mouthing all the harshness of every damned & beautiful day.

    Mantis 13

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