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Barry Spacks


On Duxbury beach how beautifully
she rose from her island of presence to greet me,
sandgrain-stars in her hair. Once a sudden Charles River wind
swept off her multi-drafts of poems...
we borrowed a rowboat to fish them in: they drooped on our oars, we dried them on strings
from chair to chair, laughed at wet words
sprawled under them on the bedroom floor. Our rages we blurted out any-old-where,
rasped restaurants raw with denunciations.
Why? Even now I have no idea. About us everything seemed unclear --
except for her beauty, that remained sure;
and our burning; and the nature of fire.



When I gaze at them, my Finger People,
moony nail-faces witnessing,
sometimes they flex like evening Gods... or stiff, still, stretched wide apart,
they stare -- in terror?

Straight and easy, they look like farm folk
bound for Sunday Service and after
to town, with money in their pockets! But always the thumb's to the side, ignored.
Oh, Hamlet-thumb, Short One, sulking,
is what you miss my infant mouth?

Yet rotate wrist, Thumb's center-palm:
proud pincer, connector, Napoleon-captain,
rock star with four blind back-up singers, fat king with tall retainers, yes,
remembering now the comrade hand,
and others, others, with hands.

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