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I'm thinking of the boiling sea and the dream in which all the fish were singing. I want to wake up with my heart not aching like death, but I am always falling in to terror. I'm a good person. I grieve to appropriate degrees. I mourn this season. This moment. I mourn for the polar bear drifting out of history on a wedge of melting ice. For the doughnut shop which reached an end yesterday, after decades and decades. I'm thinking of the light at dawn. Of the woman in Alabama who ordered six songbirds from a catalog because she was lonely. Or heartbroken. I'm thinking of the four that came dead in the box, mangled. Of the two that are missing. I want to tell you that they were spotted in the humid air winging above a mall. I want to tell you a story about the time leaves fell from the trees all at once. I am thinking of cataclysm. More than anything, I want to tell you this. I want to disappear in the night. I want the night to vanish from memory. I want to tell you how this happened.
"I wanted to write a love poem about this nightmarish era. I think I was unsure if it was still possible. Or if it mattered. I was interested in the direct intimacy of the voice, in its inherent drama. And a local doughnut shop really did close after forty-seven years." —Paul Guest
Paul Guest is the author of My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge (Ecco, 2008). He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville.
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