After II | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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After II

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The object is to not wake up at night,
to not experience absence if you do;
this phantom limb of a love affair.

The object is to slow the breathing, the blood,
to stay still, tepid, rational;
The breath runs fast because I am your lover, or
lately, because I am not.

The object is to teach the body to forget what kissing is like,
to forget a smell, the brush of a specific skin;
to become a man who doesn’t know you,
to become a man who sleeps when it’s dark.

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